Cuba does not recognize same-sex marriage, civil unions, or any other form of same-sex unions. The Cuban Constitution prohibited same-sex marriage until 2019, and in May 2019, the Government announced that the Union of Jurists of Cuba is working on a new family code, which would address same-sex marriage.
A civil union law was first proposed in 2007. The bill was reportedly before the National Assembly and promoted by Mariela Castro, director of the Cuban Sexual Education Center and daughter of the First Secretary of the Communist Party, Raúl Castro. The legislation did not reach a vote in Parliament, even though Mariela Castro said that it had the support of her father.
Until 2019, Article 36 of the Constitution of Cuba defined marriage as "the voluntarily established union between a man and a woman". Under Article 2 of the Family Code, marriage is restricted to the voluntary union of a man and a woman.
In December 2017, LGBT groups launched a campaign to amend the Cuban Constitution to repeal the ban on same-sex marriage. On 4 May 2018, Mariela Castro stated that she would propose an amendment to the Constitution and accompanying measure to legalize same-sex marriage, as the process of constitutional reform was expected to begin in July 2018.
On 21 July, Secretary of the Council of State Homero Acosta said that the draft Constitution included a provision defining marriage as a union between two people. Changes to statutory laws would be necessary to make same-sex marriage legal. The National Assembly approved the draft on 22 July. It was subject to public consultation between 13 August and 15 November.
The issue of same-sex marriage resulted in rare public debates and organising in Cuba. In June 2018, five Christian denominations declared same-sex marriage "contrary to the spirit of Communist Revolution". In what was described as "a war of posters", both opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage displayed hundreds of posters around Havana, the Cuban capital.
In September 2018, following conservative opposition to the proposal to legalise same-sex marriage in Cuba, President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced his support for same-sex marriage in his first interview since taking office in April, telling TV Telesur that he supports "marriage between people without any restrictions", and is in favor of "eliminating any type of discrimination in society". He was the first Cuban President to publicly express support for same-sex marriage.
On 18 December, the constitutional commission removed the definition of marriage from the draft, meaning that the new Constitution would not legalize same-sex marriage. Nonetheless, it would still repeal the constitutional ban. The National Assembly and Mariela Castro have stated that same-sex marriage would instead be legalised through a change to the Family Code, which is expected to happen after February 2019. Writing in the Havana Times, commentator and human rights activist Luis Rondón Paz argued that the Cuban state never intended to legalize same-sex marriage, and was instead seeking to deflect attention from other domestic issues and promote itself internationally as a progressive state.
The new Constitution was approved in a referendum on 24 February 2019, and took effect on 10 April 2019. Article 82 reads as follows:
Marriage is a social and legal institution. It is one form of family organization. It is based on free will and equality of rights, obligations and legal capacity of the spouses. The law decides how it is constituted and its effects.[a]
In early March 2019, shortly after the constitutional referendum, the Government launched public consultations on the new Family Code, which would address same-sex marriage. In May 2019, it announced that the Union of Jurists of Cuba is working on the new code, saying that "Cuba is working today on the elaboration of a new Code of the Family, with the challenge of including the diversity of family institutions and problems of the social scenario". It was announced in May 2019 that the code would take two years to be finalised. The proposal for a new Family Code including same-sex marriage and adoption was presented in September 2021.
A 2019 Apretaste opinion survey showed that 63.1% of Cubans were in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, while 36.9% were opposed.