Miguel Díaz-Canel 01, Mariela Castro Espin 01
Miguel Díaz-Canel 01, Mariela Castro Espin 01

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Officially Voices Support for Marriage Equality

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The start of same-sex marriage in Cuba could soon be at hand as the island-nation’s new president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, recently voiced support for it in a Sept. 16 interview with Telesur TV, a Latin-American news channel. Famous legislator Mariela Castro Espin, niece of former Cuban ruler Fidel Castro, also supports Cuban marriage equality and could help legalize it as early as February 2019.

“I think that recognizing marriage between people, without limitations, addresses the problem of eliminating all kinds of discrimination in society,” Díaz-Canel said. (Listen to his full answer in the interview.) Miguel Díaz-Canel tempered his response though, saying that despite his personal opinion, “the people will have the last word.”

Cuba’s new constitution could grant same-sex marriages as early as next February

On July 22, the Cuban National Assembly voted on a new draft of the country’s constitution. The previous constitution, ratified in 1976, stipulated that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. But the new draft of the constitution, which legislators will vote on in February 2019, designates marriage as a “voluntary union between two people.”

Miguel Díaz-Canel 02, Mariela Castro Espin 02
Miguel Díaz-Canel speaks about his support of marriage equality in Cuba in a recent Telesur interview.

Its acknowledgement of same-sex marriage is also actively champtioned by Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of the previous President of Cuba, Raùl Catro (Fidel’s brother). As the head of the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex), the female politician — elected to the Cuban Assembly since 2013 — has become the figurehead of equality for LGBTQ Cubans.

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If the constitution is adopted, Mariela Castro Espin intends to pass a “legislative package” that would open other rights to LGBTQ people, including marriage, she confided to Yagg magazine during her visit to Paris, France.

After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, homosexuals were persecuted under the aegis of the Castro brothers. In 2010, Fidel Castro acknowledged his mistake.

Here’s a video of Hornet’s visit to Cuba Pride 2018:

“When I analyze history, I tell myself that it was almost impossible to ask Fidel not to be homophobic,” explained his niece in the interview for Yagg. “Because in the ’60s, the whole world was homophobic. Medicine, law, society, everything was homophobic.”

She continued, “We were fighting against that. When we look at what was happening at that time in many parts of the world, it was very hard for the LGBTQ community. Some countries began to change policies in the ’80s and ’90s, the road was long and often not complete. ”

What do you think of Miguel Díaz-Canel and Mariela Castro Espin supporting marriage equality in Cuba?