Referendum decides Cuba same-sex marriage, surrogacy

HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) — Cubans will vote on Sunday in a referendum on whether to allow same-sex marriage and surrogate pregnancies, which experts say could turn into an opportunity to voice opposition against the government.

More than eight million Cubans aged over 16 are eligible to participate in the voluntary and secret ballot — the first time a law will be decided by public vote.

Coming just months after the government passed a penal code slammed for rolling back freedom of expression, the family code would not only permit marriage and surrogacy (as long as no money is exchanged), but also adoption by same-sex couples and parental rights for non-biological mothers and fathers.

If the law is approved, Cuba would become only the ninth country in Latin America to allow same-sex marriage, following in the footsteps of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay and some Mexican states.

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