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Same-sex marriage in Cuba and Mexico, and the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar

The Family Code, which has been in force in Cuba for several weeks, allows, among other possibilities,  same-sex marriages. Cuba is the ninth country in Latin America – after Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Colombia, among others – to legalise it. The code was approved in a referendum after a campaign led by the Cuban government and with the support of the island’s LGBTQ+ rights advocate Mariela Castro, daughter of former president Raul Castro. 33.15 per cent of Cubans voted against the code, which faced opposition from for instance evangelical groups.

Congress of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas is the latest to vote on the  legality of same-sex marriage. Thus, they can already be concluded throughout the country, and this is a long-awaited progress in a country known for gender-based violence. According to Equaldex, a global programme that monitors the rights of LGBTQ+ people, same-sex marriages remain illegal or not legally recognised in Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, most Central American countries and the Caribbean.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the people of Qatar will risk persecution if they stand up  for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community during the World Cup. Using the rainbow flag, chants or even liking pro-LGBTQ+ content on social media could result in harassment after the World Cup. For long, there have also been concerns about the safety of LGBTQ+ people during the World Cup. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and punishable by up to seven years in prison, and there have been incidents of beatings and harassment of LGBTQ+ people in police custody.

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