Love Is The Law Now: What We Can Learn From Cuba’s Family Code

Cuba is a progressive communist nation that has approved a sweeping "Family Law" Code on 25th September 2022. This Code will not just allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, but has extended it to encompass the entire family.

This year, while one of the so-called progressive nations in the world regressed by overturning a law that can potentially render abortion illegal, another small, and often unheard-of, nation has just left other countries far behind by passing a historical family law.

The former is the United States of America, which shocked the world by overturning a Supreme Court ruling of 1973, effectively making it possible for states to ban abortions earlier than twelve weeks. The latter is Cuba.

Cuba is a progressive communist nation that has approved a sweeping “Family Law” Code on 25th September 2022.

This Code will not just allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, but has extended it to encompass the entire family, including recognizing the role of grandparents in child upbringing, rights of children and equal rights for both partners.

Love is now the law

What makes this victory sweeter is that it was approved by a majority of 62% of people through a public referendum.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel who had actively promoted the law, which was well received by the people, celebrated the approval by tweeting, “Love is now the law”.

This was reported by some of the major newspapers, and yet not many heard about it, drowned amidst the news from the superpowers of the world.

Nowhere in the world has such an inclusive family law been put to referendum and accepted.

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It is important for all of us to acknowledge, understand and talk about it. This law aims to replace the existing 1975 Family Code based on patriarchal and sexist notions, and rewrite it to suit the current times.

The code redefines the term family

It redefines “family” ensuring the equality among all the people regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a country where women already head nearly half of Cuban households, according to government statistics, and make up more than 60% of Cuban professionals, passing a law that recognizes their role in child upbringing and share the responsibility equally between partners was greatly appreciated.

LGBTQIA community made this law a possibility

For the LGBTQIA community, this Code has been the result of years of struggle to legalize same-sex marriages.

By going beyond the mere passing of laws to legalize same-sex marriages, to re imagining the idea of family itself and thereby acknowledging that all people are equal, makes this lawmaking event the most progressive and inclusive in the world.

The responsibility of child upbringing, domestic work has been shared between the partners, replacing the notion of patriarchy such as, “Father is the head of the family”.

Raise the children with kindness

The focus is on bringing up the child with utmost respect through conversation and kindness and recognizing children as individuals whose ideas and thoughts should be respected rather than subjected to conventional principles of control, possession and violence.

Parenting is expanded to include several forms of love and affection such as same-sex couples, assisted reproductive methods, surrogacy and adoption.

The contribution of elders to children shouldn’t be overlooked

The new Code acknowledges the importance of elders, their role at home and their contribution towards caring for children.

It encourages diversity in families by protecting the most vulnerable sections of society such as elderly, people with disabilities and people in vulnerable conditions.

And the law condemns gender-based violence

Most importantly, it acknowledges gender violence and women’s multiple roles by condemning all expressions of intra-family violence, making this Code truly remarkable.

This has rightly been promoted as a Code of rights and love.

By passing it as a Law, Cuba has become the world leader in recognizing family values and encouraging a truly progressive definition of family, recognizing diversity, upholding equality and creating a society whose foundation is based on love and inclusivity.

Image source: Tim Samuels from pexels, free on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Sharada Ganesh

Sharada loves to travel the world, is passionate about reading and writing. She volunteers with various social movements in the field of sustainability and is associated with a womens' handloom weavers co-operative. She has read more...

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