Thou­sands protest against same-sex mar­riage pro­posal

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Thou­sands of peo­ple in Mex­ico City have protested against a gov­ern­ment pro­posal to le­galise same-sex mar­riage, which they say would un­der­mine tra­di­tional fam­i­lies. Or­gan­is­ers said they were not op­posed to gay or les­bian rights, but wanted to de­fend fam­ily val­ues and the in­sti­tu­tion of mar­riage. The de­mon­stra­tors called for a meet­ing with Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto. Gay and les­bian ac­tivists staged ri­val protests. Pub­lic opin­ion in Mex­ico, a pre­dom­i­nantly Ro­man Catholic na­tion, has been split since Mr Pena Ni­eto an­nounced in May plans to change the con­sti­tu­tion. Same-sex mar­riages are le­gal in some Mex­i­can states, but Mr Pena Ni­eto wants it to be al­lowed across the coun­try. Last year the Supreme Court de­clared that a ban on such unions im­posed in many of Mex­ico’s states was un­con­sti­tu­tional. Lead­ers of the Na­tional Front for the Fam­ily, which or­gan­ised the march, say they are not op­posed to LGBT rights. But they ar­gue that Mex­ico has fallen vic­tim of an ide­o­log­i­cal bat­tle that threat­ens fam­ily val­ues and the in­sti­tu­tion of mar­riage. “In a demo­cratic so­ci­ety you can­not im­pose a sin­gle thought,” said Mario Alberto Romo, a spokesman for the group. De­mon­stra­tors are call­ing for a meet­ing with Mr Pena Ni­eto to de­bate the is­sue. LGBT rights sup­port­ers turned up at the march to show their back­ing for Mr Pena Ni­eto’s pro­posal to le­galise same-sex mar­riage, but po­lice said there were no clashes. Some of them car­ried ban­ners that read: “I’m gay and I’m a Catholic” and “We also have fam­i­lies”. Four Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries have al­ready le­galised same-sex mar­riage: Ar­gentina, Brazil, Uruguay and most re­cently Colom­bia.

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