Tens of thousands of people across Mexico marched on Saturday to protest against gay marriage, challenging President Enrique Pena Nieto’s proposal to recognize same-sex marriage throughout the traditionally conservative country.
The marches were called by the National Front for the Family, a coalition of civil society organizations and various religious groups, and continued throughout the day from Mexico’s far north to the Yucatan peninsula.
Same sex marriage is permitted in Mexico City, as well as in several states including Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora. Pena Nieto has proposed changing the constitution to allow it nationally.
The embattled leader, who is grappling with discontent over a slowing economy, conflict of interest scandals, drug gang violence and a visit by U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump that led to his finance minister’s ouster, has opened himself to criticism by asking lawmakers to debate gay marriage.
Mexico’s Supreme Court said last year that laws restricting marriage to a man and woman were unconstitutional. However, many state legislatures have not changed their statutes to comply, meaning couples must file legal challenges on a case-by-case basis to get married. Gay marriage is still banned under local laws in many of Mexico’s 31 states.
Another march is planned for September 24th in Mexico City and NOM president Brian Brown will be there.
Millones de personas marcharon en México hoy a favor de la familia y el matrimonio natural! ¡Viva la familia! pic.twitter.com/m7ES2Pb3np
— Jean Marco Pumarol F (@puma2197) September 11, 2016