Mérida, Yucatán — Organizers against same-sex marriage are marching down the Paseo de Montejo today, promising 10,000 citizens standing up for “family.”
The march is part of a nationwide backlash against the progress achieved by pro-LGBT activists. Opponents of marriage equality are hoping to kill a proposal from President Enrique Peña Nieto to override barriers to gay marriage remaining in 21 states.
Although a counter-protest is also planned, it’s straight allies in their every day life that are the strongest answer to today’s march, a pro-equality group told reporters.
Heteroaliados, a term coined to describe straight people who support gay rights, are the best weapon in the fight against discrimination, said Dr. Ligia Vera Gamboa, of the the Citizen Group Multisectoral for HIV/AIDS.
The LGBT allies call today’s “March for the Family” discriminatory.
Dr. Carlos Cabrera, of Fundación BAI, said that society must defend the rights of minorities. Such a response is key to continue living in a secular state with law that guarantees the freedoms of all, he said.
Pro-LGBT citizens will meet at 5 today for a “Besatón” — a kiss-in — at the Monumento a la Patria. The “pro-family” parade will head from the Remate to the monument at 5:30. Both sides have promised a peaceful and respectful demonstration.
The conservative groups behind the march was also criticized for casting gay, lesbian and transgender people as an enemy of the community, according to Desde el Balcon.
But conservatives have found the issue to be helpful in mobilizing allies of their own. They are alarmed that same-sex couples have been able to marry in Mexico City since 2010, and full marriage equality has been established in 10 states since then.
In a conference last month, The Catholic Church, endorsed the National Front for the Family’s marches. Although the gathering’s name translates to “Episcopal Conference,” the group is not connected to the Anglican Church of Mexico.
The march which will also be in various other large cities today, and on Sept. 24, in Mexico City. The largest march is expected in Guadalajara, where organizers claim as many as 100,000 people could attend.