BRUSSELS, September 12, 2005 ( – About 4,600 people joined the March for the Family Belgian pro-family coalition to rally against a government proposition to legalize adoption by homosexuals Saturday.

Michel Ghins, co-organizer and professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve spoke at the march. “This march for the family is not an action against homosexuals, who deserve all our respect but we refuse that they be put at the same level of equality when it comes to the union between a man and a woman,” he said. Ghins added, “Men and women have specific roles in the education of a child. We publicly claim the right to the family.” During his speech, Ghins further commented that a child needs affection and stability, which only a family based on the complementarity of men and women can provide.

According to Carine Brochier, press contact and co-organizer of the event, “This large number and the success of the march show a clear desire of Belgian citizens, particularly parents, to be heard in this debate.” A public poll which appeared on the Belgian television station, RTL-TVI, showed that 74% of Belgians are against the new proposed law.

The march was carried out in a festive spirit and in a setting where children had the place of honour. There were make-up artists, clowns and magicians present. Participants were given a set of three balloons, each colour symbolizing the family: the blue balloons represented fathers; pink balloons represented mothers and the white balloon, the child. Many signs and posters read: “the best interest of the child comes first” or “for the right to have a father and a mother.”

The march received surprisingly favourable media coverage, despite reported attempts to misinform journalists about its location. It drew people of all ages, mainly families, and of all religious aspirations, but it also attracted a small group of 15 or 20 anti-march protestors from the VLD party (Liberal Democrats).

The Belgian parliament will open the debate at the beginning of October. Through a press release, the organizers stated that “the march happened without incident and this was only the first step. The action will continue until the proposed law is rejected.”