An estimated 250,000 marched in protest of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's proposal to legalize gay marriage. Screenshot from National Front for the Family/Facebook
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Protesters marched throughout Mexico in opposition to the president's proposal to legalize same-sex marriage, organizers said.
A coalition of various religious groups and other organizations, called the National Front for the Family, urged Mexicans to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto's legislation to allow gay marriage in marches Saturday. Pena Nieto wants Congress to debate the issue. Mexico's Supreme Court said last year that laws banning same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.
Same-sex marriage is allowed in some Mexican states that include Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora.
Organizers said more than 1 million people marched in 75 cities, including 250,000 people in Guadalajara, Jalisco. A verified accounting of marchers was not available.
The marchers chanted "Yes to the family!" "Yes natural marriage! "" Yes to freedom of expression!," according to Yoinfluyo.com
An estimated 40,000 people marched in the city of Queretaro, organizers said.
Jose Alcantara, an organizer with the National Front for the Family, said they had gathered more than 100,000 signatures against the proposal.
"I think it was something unprecedented, the awakening of the society of Queretaro in defense of the family," he said.
In Monterrey, counter protesters sang and read poetry to show support to the Mexican gay community.
"It's a discriminatory position and we hope it doesn't have success," Jesus Gonzalez, a human rights activist, said to Voice of America.
Ary Campos Martinez, a representative for Civil Protection in the city of Puebla in central Mexico, said officers were monitoring a crowd of approximately 12,000 by midday.