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Marchers in Mexico City decry same-sex marriage

Members of the National Front for the Family march in Mexico City to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto’s initiative to legalize gay marriage next to a gay community member (R) © AFP / Yuri Cortez

Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 25 – Thousands marched in Mexico City Saturday against same-sex marriage, which President Enrique Pena Nieto supports, while hundreds of gay rights supporters rallied nearby.

“I think the government… wants to keep us from raising our children the way we want,” 38-year-old housewife Miriam Garrido, who is against gay marriage, told AFP.

She turned out as part of the campaign led by the National Front for the Family — a coalition of conservative religious groups.

The Front strongly opposes same-sex couples adopting children, and also opposes teaching about homosexuality and transsexuality in school sex education classes.

Police kept the demonstrators separated on opposite sides of the Paseo de la Reforma.

“We think the people who are over there are there because of a lack of information,” gay rights supporter Orlando Suarez said.

In May, Pena Nieto announced a constitutional reform that would legalize same-sex marriage across Mexico. Several other Latin American countries already allow such unions.

That announcement followed a Supreme Court ruling last year declaring that a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

A gay rights advocacy group said that homophobia has surged in Mexico since Pena Nieto’s proposal.

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The Citizen Commission against Homophobic Hate Crimes said at least 26 people from the LGBT community were killed so far this year.

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