MADRID, June 20, 2005 ( – Over a million Spanish citizens turned out Saturday to bring their views on marriage and homosexuality to the attention of Spain’s socialist government. The massive gathering stretched from Cibeles Square down Alcala street and spilled over into neighboring streets, parks and plazas. TheÂprotest, held under the patronage of Foro Español de la Familia (Spanish forum on the family), called for the proposed legislation allowing homosexual marriage to be recalled. Journalist Cristina Lopez Schlichting read aloud before the enormous crowd the statement which Forum on the Family had published earlier, calling for a government policy that supports families and gives parents the right to choose the kind of education they want for their children.
Spanish Marriage RallyThe demonstration had an especially festive air, music and confetti accenting the spirit of the demonstrators. Participants included children and elderly citizens. Hot air balloons held aloft a giant banner with the motto of the gathering: “The family IS important”. Among the many signs held by demonstrators, the theme “Family=Man and Woman” was the most frequent.
  Notably present were Cardinal Ruoco of Madrid, all the auxiliary bishops of Madrid, the archbishops of Toledo and Granada, the bishop of Segorbe-Castellón, Sharon Slater, president of United Families International, Kiko Arguello, founder of Neocatecumenal Way, and many high ranking members of Spain’s Popular Party, recently ousted by Zapatero’s socialist government. The gathering was supported by NGO’s from 25 countries, in cluding Pakistan, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, United States, France, Germany, Guinea, Bangladesh, Egypt and Rwanda.