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March for the Family in Mexico City
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

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Massive Mexico City pro-family march protests gay ‘marriage,’ gender ideology

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

MEXICO CITY, September 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched through the heart of Mexico City on Saturday to protest a proposed constitutional amendment to create homosexual “marriage” and adoption in Mexico as well as plans to impose sex education inspired by gender ideology.

The marchers walked from the National Auditorium down the city’s main avenue, the Paseo de la Reforma, to the Angel of Independence, one of the most important monuments of the city. Although city officials estimated attendance at 20,000, march organizers and Church officials cited estimates of 400,000-450,000. Drone video provided by organizers indicated a large crowd stretching down the Paseo de la Reforma, but the video did not include a flyover of the entire march route.

Demonstrators dressed in the customary white shirts of Mexico’s pro-family movement chanted and held signs with such slogans as “You can see it, you can feel it, the family is defending itself,” “The family, united, will never be defeated,” “Biology, not ideology,” and “We’re not one, we’re not a hundred, Mr. President, count us well!”

The protest, called the “March for the Family,” was organized by Mexico’s National Front for the Family, a coalition of more than 1,000 civil society organizations.

The March for the Family was the culmination of a series of national protests that attracted more than one million people this month, according to organizers’ estimates, filling the streets of dozens of cities and towns with demonstrators concerned that the institution of the family and the moral integrity of their children is under attack.

The march was supported by the nation’s Catholic bishops as well as Pope Francis, who said after a weekend Mass at the Vatican, “I enthusiastically associate myself with the bishops of Mexico to support the commitment of the Church and civil society in favor of the family and of life, which at this time require special pastoral and cultural attention throughout the world.”

Although a counter-protest was organized by homosexual organizations in the hours before the March for the Family, a feared clash between the groups did not materialize, according to local news reports. A reported 1,800 police officers were on the scene to maintain security.

March organizers published a manifesto that defended the traditional definition of marriage and family while expressing respect for homosexuals but condemning the imposition of gender ideology in public schools and decrying the replacement of scientifically-founded teaching with political indoctrination.

“We manifest our profound disagreement with gender ideology; an ideology that, lacking an objective foundation, seeks to impose itself in the laws, in schools, in families, in the media,” the organizers wrote. “Gender ideology claims to be the defender of diversity, but it doesn’t support plurality, and therefore it doesn’t permit criticism nor dissent; it discredits, slanders, and persecutes.”

“We defend the right that we, as parents, have to the education of our children. The public school must not be held hostage by any ideology. The contents of sexual education must be based on an integral understanding of the human person, and must be based on scientific criteria, not on pressure from movements that are ignorant of genetic, biological, and psychological reality of sexuality.”

The organizers also rejected the notion that adoption is a “right” enjoyed by homosexuals at the expense of the welfare of children. “We recognize the right of children to have a father and a mother. Adoption is not a right of adults; it is a right of children.”

However, Mexico’s National Commission for Human Rights issued a statement the day before the march condemning the traditional definition of marriage advocated by the protesters, claiming that “restricting the possibility of contracting marriage to a man and a woman violates the principle of equality and is contrary to the rights of self-determination and free development of one’s personality.” Such principles have been used by the Supreme Court in recent years to rule in favor of homosexual “marriage” in particular cases.

The National Front for the Family requested a personal meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is the principal advocate of the homosexual “marriage” amendment, but so far no response has been reported. Peña Nieto has been isolated politically from many in his own party since he initially proposed the amendment in May, reportedly without consulting members of his party in the national congress.

The president’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) fell to minority status in the nation’s state governments for the first time in its history in June in a massive electoral defeat that was widely blamed on Peña Nieto’s embrace of the gay agenda.

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