Is Gay Marriage Now Sort of Legal in Cuba?

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In a Cuban first, a man, who apparently identifies as gay, married a transgender woman in 2011. The woman, originally a man, had been the subject of the first Government-approved sex change operation back in 2007. Is Gay Marriage now sort of legal in Cuba?

In a Cuban first, a man, who apparently identifies as gay, married a transgender woman in 2011. The woman, originally a man, had been the subject of the first Government-approved sex change operation back in 2007.

Putting aside the rather confusing question of whether or not a man is gay if he marries a transgender woman, does this mean same-sex marriage is now semi-legal in Cuba?

The short answer is “no.” Unless, we consider the above marriage a same-sex marriage, it is still illegal in Cuba, and most of the Caribbean, for two men or two women to marry each other.

Cuba has considered changing the law, as long ago as 2009 a bill was introduced to change the constitution, which bans same-sex marriage, however that did not get approval. Mariela Castro, daughter of the President, has been the primary public champion of a change in law since 2009, but efforts since then have led to nothing.

So, if you want to sponsor your Cuban same-sex partner for permanent residence in Canada, you will not be able to marry in Cuba. You have a couple of options:

  • You can marry in another country, such as Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal (and while your application to sponsor is in progress your spouse may be eligible for a work permit);
  • Your partner can come to Canada on a temporary work permit or study permit and live with you – after a year you can sponsor your partner;
  • Your partner can try to come to Canada through one of the many immigration streams for permanent residence and then you don’t have to worry about a sponsorship.

So even though same-sex marriage is not legal in Cuba, you still have options for sponsoring your Cuban same-sex partner to come to Canada.

Are you planning to live in Canada with your spouse?
Here are some helpful articles:
How to get married in Canada to a foreigner? 
Can I bring my boyfriend/girlfriend to Canada? 
Free Spousal Sponsorship Course
Paid Support from Immigroup: Sponsorship

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Riley Haas has been a leading expert since 2011 on immigration matters, with hundreds of publications online. Published author of three books about political philosophy, the Beatles and the Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively. BA from Bishop’s University, MA from McMaster University. You follow Riley on Substack https://rileyhaas.substack.com.

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