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Cuba approves same-sex marriage in historic referendum: "Justice has been done"

Cuban voters have approved a historic new referendum that allows same-sex couples to marry and adopt in the country, the national election commission said on Monday.

Cubans ratified the referendum with more than 3.9 million votes (66.9%) in favor, National Electoral Council President Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez said, according to The Associated Press. Approximately 1.95 million voters (33.1%) opposed the measure, she said.

The 100-page referendum faced an unusual amount of resistance from the Cuban public, even though it was backed by the government, according to the AP. Elections in the nation, in which only the Communist party is permitted, regularly see victories of over 90%, the AP reported. 

The Código De Las Familias referendum legalizes same-sex marriage and civil unions, allows adoption by same-sex couples, and promotes equality among men and women when it comes to sharing domestic rights and responsibilities, Reuters reported.

"Justice has been done," Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel tweeted Monday, according to a translation by Reuters. "Starting today, we will be a better nation. It is paying off a debt with several generations of Cuban men and women, whose family projects have been waiting for this Law for years."

Approximately 74% of the 8.4 million eligible Cubans participated in the vote, preliminary results showed. 

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