SAN JUAN, PR, February 18, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Between 120,000 and 200,000 people blanketed the Capitol Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico, today to encourage the island's lawmakers to defend marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Bearing signs stating “Puerto Rico stands up to defend the family,” tens of thousands of protesters called on the ruling Popular Democratic Party to turn back any measure that would redefine the family unit.

The crowd represented a significant turnout on island of three-and-a-half million. “Traffic was snarled for miles leading toward the San Jun islet as buses packed with marchers headed toward the north side of the Capitol,” according to the Puerto Rican-based Caribbean Business.

Organized in just three weeks, the cresting crowds represented people of different religious backgrounds, as well as denominations ranging from Pentecostal, Baptist, Catholic, and Disciples of Christ.

Supporters of same-sex “marriage” held a counter-rally that was dwarfed by comparison. Puerto Rican press estimated the counter demonstration drew “hundreds” of people. Its lead speaker, United Methodist Pastor Jesus Molina, was from Chicago.

The dueling protests took place as there amidst signs that politicians in the territory, which many believe could become the 51st state, are liberalizing the island's views on sexuality.

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Former Governor Pedro Rosselló recently announced his support for redefining marriage. San Juan's mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, will include homosexuals and cohabiting heterosexuals on par with married families in the city’s health care plan.

Inside the Capitol, Senator Luis Vega Ramos would amend Act 54 to include homosexuals on par with married couples when tallying acts of domestic violence. In the House, Ramón Luis Nieves introduced a measure to force people to end employment and housing “discrimination” against homosexuals.

One of today's speakers, Pastor Cesar Vazquez, carried the message of the masses to those politicians today.

“You are saying we chose them to do other things – to improve the economy, to reduce crime, to help health and education – but not to change something as fundamental as marriage is between a man and a woman, and the family that is born of that relationship," he said.

"Politicians count the numbers," he told the teeming crowd, "and the numbers are here."