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Mexico City rally backs same-sex marriage amid growing criticism

Hundreds have gathered in Mexico City in support of legalizing same-sex marriage across the country. But tens of thousands have also marched against the president's support for legalizing same-sex unions.

In Mexico City, hundreds of people on Sunday demonstrated in favor of same-sex marriage one day after thousands took the streets to protest an initiative to legalize it nationwide.

Sunday's protesters included activists, members of the LGBT community and family groups supporting the legislation. Several of them carried signs and banners that read: "We are all families."

National Pride Front spokesman Patricia Jimenez placed responsibility for a backlash against the LGBT community on Catholic Church officials in Mexico, including Norberto Rivera, the archbishop of Mexico City

Mexican President Enrique Nieto in May announced a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage by amending the constitution and federal civil code.

The initiative would allow marriage without any discrimination "based on ethnic or national origin, disability, social status, health conditions, religion, gender or sexual preference."

However, legalizing same-sex marriage has been met with resistance in Mexico, a predominantly Catholic nation.

More than 50,000 people rallied in dozens of cities across Mexico on Saturday, according to officials.

"There purpose is to defend the family; what we are proposing is the protection of marriage and family," Marco Tulio Mendoza, director of the rally organizers National Front for the Family, said in an interview on Saturday.

"The parent has the right to educate their children according to their convictions, and that education be free of ideologies," he added.

Same-sex marriage is recognized in certain Mexican states, although it is explicitly banned in Yucatan.

ls/gsw (AP, dpa)

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