The Cuban people approve revolutionary Families Code
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Real Name Campaign NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana)
The Real Name Campaign celebrates Cuba’s passage of the new Families Code by popular referendum on September 25. The Families Code legalizes same-gender marriage and adoption, but it also goes far beyond that. With this new code, Cuba leads the world in LGBTQ, women’s, disability, children and elders’ rights.
The code recognizes and protects four kinds of households. Besides single-person and nuclear families, the code protects extended families with different caring relationships that include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or partners. It also recognizes compound households where more than one nuclear family lives together. The title “Families Code” intentionally respects that the working class has many different kinds of families.
The law recognizes the value of homes for the economy and society. It requires families to share housework between partners, and it strengthens existing protections against domestic violence. This follows Cuba’s long tradition of promoting the rights of women and other gender-oppressed people. Abortions are legal and freely accessible on demand.
The new code also recognizes care as a right, with profound implications for disabled and elderly citizens. The law recognizes that a person is not disabled because their bodies are wrong, but because their environments present them with barriers that society needs to break down. Anyone who requires the support of a caretaker has the right to choose who supports them, as well as establish safeguards deadlines for legal review of the care. The law also does due diligence to protect the rights of caretakers and honor their role.
In the area of children’s rights, Cuba replaced “parental authority” with “parental responsibility.” This gives children more say in these decisions based on their maturity – a concept known as “progressive autonomy.” For example, children in many cases have the right to raise a concern to the local family ombudsman without a parent or guardian. The code also affirms the duties of children, including respecting family members and carrying out chores in accordance with their age but irrespective of their gender.
Passing the code was a thoroughly democratic process. The National Assembly redrafted it 25 times after many discussions in town halls, workplaces, universities, and neighborhood meetings. The people’s feedback amended almost half of the code’s articles. After the Assembly passed the code unanimously, a popular referendum ratified it. The Cuban people won this victory against “machismo.”
The U.S., on the other hand, empowers bigots to take our rights everywhere from state legislatures to the Supreme Court. Following Cuba’s example, we will only secure dignity for women, LGBTQ people, disabled people, seniors, and students by winning over the broad masses to the struggle.