Over the weekend roughly 215,000 protestors marched in Mexico City in opposition of the Mexican president’s push to legalize same-sex marriage.
The country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto made an announcement in May stating he would try to pass a federal law allowing same-sex marriage. Currently, Mexican states are able to grant these marriages if they see fit.
The Roman Catholic church opposes the proposal and the National Front for the Family organized the demonstration of tens of thousands who reject the federal law. Demonstrators wore all white while carrying white balloons.
“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,” said Abraham Ledesma, Evangelical pastor to The Associated Press during the protest.
80% of the country identifies as catholic and Pope Francis prayed for Mexico Sunday in support of the protest in opposition of being forced to support same-sex marriage.
While this protest had large numbers, another smaller demonstration by supporters of same-sex marriage took place, but both demonstrations were kept separate by hundreds of police and barriers.
“Just because they are the majority, doesn’t mean they can take rights away from minorities. That would lead us to a dark period, to fundamentalism,” said Felipe Quiroz, same-sex marriage supporter.
The president submitted two bills to congress that would incorporate the right to marry for same-sex couples into the constitution. “In our country, there can’t be those who have certain rights in some states and others who do not,” said Mr. Peña Nieto in May.
Like the US, Mexico is in a predicament. If the federal law is passed, it opens the floodgate of litigation against businesses and those who don’t honor same-sex marriages because of religious conviction. It ultimately forces roman Catholics to put law first, over their moral and religious beliefs. This in turn violates religious freedom.