MEXICO CITY – On 24 September, a massive pro-family march took place in Mexico City. 400,000 citizens participated. It was their way of responding to a set of initiatives put forward by President Enrique Peña Nieto in May 2016 to redefine marriage at the Constitutional and Federal Civil Code level. They were organized by Frente Nacional por la Familia, a pro-family coalition of more than 1,000 organizations in Mexico including ADF International. The President has still not reacted to the protests on the streets.
“The government should protect and strengthen marriage, not further undermine it. Last weekend, more than 400,000 people marched through Mexico City to voice their opinion on the importance of family and marriage. The Supreme Court has constantly weakened the institution of marriage over the past few years. Now the President tries to redefine marriage and family altogether and to challenge parental rights that are protected by international law,” said Sofia Martinez, Legal Counsel for ADF International in Mexico.
Undemocratic presidential manoeuver
Many see President Peña Nieto’s campaign as an undemocratic manoeuver against the first ever citizen-led initiative presented earlier in 2016 to reform the Constitution by explicitly defining marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Participants in Mexico City marched for the protection and recognition of family rights, including the rights of parents to educate their children and children’s rights to a mother and a father.
“The government should not hinder parents from educating their children according to their convictions and beliefs. Many Mexican parents feel overrun by the Supreme Court’s decisions and the President’s actions. The march in Mexico City was an outcry, a call for an honest dialogue on these issues, where all opinions are taken into account, also those deviating from the government’s agenda,” explained Martinez.
“Throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have upheld marriage as the ideal environment for raising children. The uniqueness of that union is the reason marriage is recognized and protected. We should encourage homes with a mother and a father and not intentionally deprive a child of the ideal environment in which to be raised. The President has tried to redefine marriage, promote adoption by same-sex couples, authorize sex change in official documents, and introduce a gender mainstreaming curriculum in schools. Since the beginning of September millions have shown their clear opposition. Maybe it is time to stop political monologues and begin a dialogue where everybody’s voice and opinion is being heard.”