Some 400,000 people filled the streets in Mexico City to protest a government proposal to legalize same-sex marriage, BBC UK reports.

Pastor Abraham Ledesma explained that the protest is “not against anybody’s (sexual) identity.” He said, “What we are against is the government imposition … of trying to impose gender ideology in education. As religious leaders, we don’t want to be forced to marry same-sex couples and call it marriage.”

Organizers clarified that they do not denounce gay or lesbian rights, but they wanted to defend family values and the institution of marriage. They said same-sex marriage would undermine traditional families.

Juan Dabdoub Giacoman, president of the Mexican Council of the Family, said, “It is a march to express to politicians and leaders of the country that this is really what Mexican society is searching for, which is not what gender ideology and the international LGBT movement is promoting.”

Pastor Abraham Ledesma explained that the protest is “not against anybody’s (sexual) identity.” He said, “What we are against is the government imposition … of trying to impose gender ideology in education. As religious leaders, we don’t want to be forced to marry same-sex couples and call it marriage.”

The demonstrators called for a meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto. Gay marriage is already legal in some Mexican states but the president want it to be allowed across the country. Mexico is a predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

Gay and lesbian activists staged rival protests. Some gay marriage supporters carried banners that read: “I’m gay and I’m a Catholic” and “We also have families.”

According to Christian Post, Pope Francis supported the pro-traditional marriage supporters since the rally is in defense of “family and life.”

“I join willingly the bishops of Mexico in supporting the efforts of the Church and civil society in favor of the family and of life, which at this time require special pastoral and cultural attention worldwide,” the Pope said after the weekly Angelus prayer, Crux Catholic Media reported.

Sources:

Bbccom. (2016). BBC News. http://www.bbc.com/news/37465165

Catholicnewsagencycom. (2016). Catholic News Agency. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/mexicans-flood-the-capital-to-defend-marriage-with-pope-francis-blessing-47427/

Christianpostcom. (2016). Christian Post. http://www.christianpost.com/news/pope-francis-backs-215000-catholics-protesting-mexicos-push-legalize-gay-marriage-170072/

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Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.