World

Boy, 12, Tries To Stop Thousands Of Anti-Gay Protesters

| by Michael Allen
Mexican boyMexican boy

A 12-year-old boy stood in front of about 11,000 anti-gay protesters over the weekend in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico.

The protesters were marching against same-sex marriage, which is legal in Mexico City, and in nine of the 31 Mexican states, notes Towleroad.com.

Journalist Manuel Rodriguez, who photographed the boy, told the Spanish news site Regeneracion: "At first I thought the child was only playing."

Rodriguez recalled that the boy later told him: "I have an uncle who is gay and I hate the hatred."

The Los Angeles Times reports that thousands also marched against gay marriage in Tijuana on Sept. 10.

The demonstrators oppose a proposal by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to legalize gay marriage throughout the country, and are upset over a string of court victories by same-sex marriage advocates.

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that gay marriage bans in the states were unconstitutional, but unlike the U.S. the country's high court was not able to invalidate those bans; there are now legal challenges against the bans in 22 states.

Same-sex couples can technically get married in the banned states if they go to a federal judge and get an injunction against the ban.

The Tijuana protesters shouted "Viva la familia natural," which means "long live the natural family." Many of the protesters were members of Catholic or evangelical Christian churches.

While the Roman Catholic Church openly supported the cause and the march, church leaders said that the church was not an organizer of the event, which was put on by the National Front for the Family coalition.

Tijuana's new Roman Catholic archbishop, Francisco Moreno Barron, and the former archbishop, Rafael Romo Munoz, both marched.

"It’s very clear how these civil society organizations are being used to promote the positions of churches," said Alex Ali Mendez, a lawyer who has fought for same-sex marriage rights in Mexico.

"[T]he standards for that freedom of expression are different when exercised by religious groups and those involved in public worship," Mendez added.

Sources: Towleroad.com, RegeneracionLos Angeles Times / Photo credit: Manuel Rodriguez/Regeneracion

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