Tens of thousands of people marched in Mexico City on Saturday to protest President Enrique Peña Nieto's proposed constitutional amendment to establish marriage equality nationwide.
Marriage equality has already spread to 10 states, as well as Mexico City, without becoming an issue in national politics. But when the president proposed amending the constitution so that it would be legal across the country, a coalition of conservative groups mobilized in opposition.
The president's proposal was declared "frozen" by congressional leaders of his own party, though two other left-wing parties are still hoping to get marriage equality legislation on the agenda.
But there are two proposals to outlaw marriage equality also potentially pending in Congress. These were proposed as two separate "citizens initiatives," and groups collected the hundreds of thousands of signatures required to force Congress to consider them.
Saturday's march follows 132 local marches held in cities around the country on Sept. 10, which organizers say had a total of 1.2 million participants.
The Sept. 24 march was sponsored by the National Front for the Family — a coalition of mostly Catholic-led family service organizations and anti-abortion groups — and the evangelical National Christian Union for the Family.
"This shows that society is willing to do what it takes to defend family," said Juan Dabdoub, whose group ConFamilia, is part of the National Front for the Family and launched the first initiative to outlaw marriage equality. "The next step is the elections. If they vote against the initiative, we will vote against them."
Saturday's march suggested those opposed to marriage equality not only command a substantial organizing capacity, but also financial resources. The march had six Jumbotrons along the route broadcasting live footage of the event, and marchers carried thousands of pre-printed flags with the National Front for the Family logo.
There was also a drone flying over the march, and the Front for the Family was sharing aerial shots throughout the demonstration.
But the march also had low-fi moments, like this "pro-family" rap.
And this rendition of the classic, "La Cucaracha."
The owner of this sign was asked by an organizer to lower it, because "they're saying on social media that this is a religious march."
Mexico's movement has drawn international support, including from Brian Brown, head of the US group National Organization for Marriage, as well as an international federation called the World Congress of Families.
Also on Saturday, the National Pride Front organized a small counter protest on the other side of the circle where the National Front for the Family held its rally. Police reportedly said the event drew 500 people.
Diego Olavarría contributed to this report.
J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
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