In a new effort to protect LBGT citizens, Cuba recently proposed an amendment to its constitution that would allow for same-sex marriage.

Lawmakers, 600 to be exact, approved the legislation on Sunday in Havana, according to Granma, the official newspaper of the communist party.

The definition of marriage in Cuba, as of 1976, cites marriage as, “the voluntary established union between a man and a woman.” The proposed article in the constitution would change to say marriage is “a consensual union between two people,” eliminating gender from its definition.

Homero Acosta, secretary of the Council of State, said during last week during the hearing session that the amendment to the definition of marriage represents the future of Cuba.

“We are not the first, nor would we be (in) the vanguard in this matter because there are around 24 countries that have this concept incorporated,” he said. “We could not turn our back on this issue when preparing a new constitutional project.”

Not only did lawmakers study how international laws affect human rights in regards to discrimination, but acts of discrimination towards LGBT people would be met with punishment.

“The state has to educate our people on the principles of equality, and support for the most disadvantaged, the elderly, people with disabilities,” Acosta said.

Under the new ratification, the country’s Civil and Family Code would have to change to accommodate inheritance, adoption and assisted reproductive rights for same-sex couples.

“It is a principle of social justice and humanism of our system,” Acosta said.

The proposal still has to pass through a popular vote. The public has the ability to suggest changes from August 13 through November 15. Changes would then go back to the National Assembly to be rewritten and resubmitted for public approval.