Cuba’s draft constitution will not include a gender-neutral clause where it states that civil marriage is between two people with equal rights after the country’s constitutional commission, led by former president Raul Castro, removed it. Due to immense grassroots pressure from Christian groups within the Caribbean Island communist country, same-sex marriage equality for LGBTQIA+ Cubans is still not permitted. However, homesexual activity is legal and LBGTQ discrimination is illegal in most cases or circumstances on the island thanks to in part by a variety of activists, including Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro.
If passed in a nationwide referendum on February 24, 2019, the new constitution would create a 10-year presidential term limit by allowing only two 5-year terms, establishing minimum and maximum ages for the presidency at 35 years old and 60 years old, creating a new role of prime minister in addition to the presidency to further separate the official heads of government and state, devolve more political authority from the central government in Havana to the governors of the island country’s 15 provinces, and formally recognized capacities for non-state actors in the national economy. Possible changes came after Raul Castro stepped down from office in 2018 and his successor, former vice president Miguel Díaz-Canel, became the country’s leader. However, Raul Castro remains politically active as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and a member of the legislative National Assembly.
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