In Cuba, rumors are one of the main sources of information–many would say that the best and most efficient of all.
The bolas, as we call rumors or gossip in Cuba, are correct with frightening frequency. And although many times they are bit hyperbolic and exaggerated, they always have a grain of truth. And people usually believe them without asking too much. Sometimes they become so popular that the Noticiero Nacional de la Televisión Cubana, our national newscast, has to deny them personally. And yet many still prefer to trust the rumor.
That's why, when the bola that they were going to legalize gay marriage in Cuba began spreading a few months ago, though there seemed to be more doubters than ever before, many of us were filled with hope, because the rumors in Cuba are incredibly powerful.
But any remaining doubts were dispelled when five Cuban evangelical churches made an official statement in which they openly opposed gay marriage and argued that "the family is a divine institution created by God, and that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman, as the Bible teaches, the word of God."
This act, when there were a few days missing from the discussion of the constitutional reform project in the National Assembly of Cuba, was irrefutable proof that the change was coming. And nobody could stop it. It was then that we all knew that equal marriage had a strong chance of being a reality.
And what was put together in social networks was incredible. No one was talking about anything else. The Methodist Church, of course, began banging their drums and and started a strong campaign on all fronts. They put up posters in the streets, made frames for photos that the faithful could hang on Facebook, distributed Bibles on the streets and even asked permission to call a march against the measure. Permission that was denied.
All of this to defend marriage’s diseño original, it’s "original design".
Well, here at Clandestina, we like to think that we know a thing to two about design. Of course, we had no choice but to defend the Cuban design–a very original family. And we made a poster to celebrate it.
Many people shared it and joined the "campaign" uploading their photos and supporting our "alternative" family design. A few media outlets even echoed the sentiment, though it wasn’t our intention to cause such a stir. But the debate in those days paved the way for what would happen over the weekend.
This National Assembly was truly an historic event. Homero Acosta, Secretary of the State Council, said that the new Carta Magna, our constitution, will modify its current Article 68 to define marriage as "the union between two people" without specifying their sex, and that "the modification of the concept of family is an act of justice that reinforces the revolutionary principle of humanism and equity". Music for the ears of many people.
And then Mariela Castro and Yolanda Ferrer gave the final blow when they said: "What I propose is that all families have the same rights, all rights for all people", and "There is no reason to deny marriage to people homosexuals, there is no reason to limit the happiness of these people".
Now the constitutional text is to be voted on by the people and then made official in a referendum that has no date yet, but as we say in Cuba: el que espera lo mucho, espera lo poco. He who’s waited a long time can wait a little longer.
Undoubtedly, this has been an historic step for Cuba, a measure that will change the lives of many people and, first time in a long time, speaks of the pursuit of happiness–of the right of people to be happy. Good for the Assembly, good for the delegates, good for Cuba.