Adiel and Lachi hope to get married one day in Cuba. The two men want to dress in black for a ceremony by the sea. But the idea of same-sex marriage worries religious leaders and their followers.
Recently, the socialist government released a new family law proposal and asked for public comment before the vote. The debate has since turned into a very public confrontation over the politics of same-sex marriage.
Adiel González, 31, is a student of religion. His 51-year-old partner, Lachi González, is an accountant. They both work at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Matanzas.
Adiel said putting her marriage right to a public vote was painful. He said that it gives the majority of people who are heterosexual the power to decide on the minority of homosexuals.
Lachi added: “God did not stepchildren, so we’re all daughters and sons of God and what Adiel and I do (is) have a life of love.
The draft family law will be considered by Parliament after the still unplanned vote. Bill has over 480 articles. It extends the rights of grandparents and allows financial arrangements before marriage. The bill sets penalties for committing acts of violence in a marriage. And parents can decide whether a child takes the mother’s last name or the father’s last name.
The biggest problem, however, is changing the definition of marriage. The current law defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The new bill would change it between two people.
The proposal would also allow homosexuals to adopt children and use substitute pregnancies without payment.
Reverend Moises de Prada is a senior clergy in the Assemblies of God. The group has grown rapidly in Cuba and now has over 2,000 churches and 1 million members.
He said that the family structure, in the word of God, “is that which is agreed upon between a man and a woman and the resulting children.”
Cuba is officially non-religious after the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro. But religious groups, including Catholics, Muslims, Protestants, and Afro-Cuban religions, have become more influential over the past 25 years. Some campaigned in 2018 and 2019 against an earlier vote that would have rewritten the constitution to allow same-sex marriage.
The opposition of the Social Conservatives was strong enough for the government of the day to back down. However, lawmaker Mariela Castro supported the change. She is the daughter of then-president Raul Castro and director of the Cuban Sex Education Center.
Justice Minister Oscar Silveira Martínez said The Associated Press that the new proposal “does construction social realities; he tries to provide legal solutions, protect those social realities that exist.
The leader of the Assemblies of God, Julio César Sánchez, declared that such same-sex unions would be “the result of peach. He added: “Because murder also exists. … That doesn’t mean it’s good.
Cuban citizens also have differing opinions.
Carola Reyna is a 25 year old housewife. She said she was not against the happiness of same-sex couples. “But it seems to me that (adopting) children, they shouldn’t get involved in this,” she said.
Nearby was Alberto Dausá, 68 years old. He told the AP: “There are people who are going to be against same sex couples who join us. wedding, but I think it’s something normal.
I am Dan Novak.
Andrea Rodríguez reported this story for the Associated Press. Dan Novak adapted it for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in this story
heterosexual – adj. sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex
homosexual – adj. . sexually attracted to people of the same sex
stepson – nm the child of your wife or husband by a marriage or a past relationship: a stepson or a stepdaughter
item – nm a separate part of a legal document that deals with a single topic
adopt – v. legally take a child from other parents as their own child
substitute – nm a person or thing that replaces or performs the functions of someone or something else
construction – v. build or fabricate (something physical, such as a road, bridge, or building)
provide – v. seeing or becoming aware of something that has not yet happened
peach – nm an action that is considered bad according to religious or moral law
wedding – nm the state of being married