A mega-protest of opponents of same-sex marriage is planned in Guadalajara on Saturday, February 20.
Demonstrators will gather at 5 p.m. outside the Jalisco Congress building in the Plaza de Liberacion, as well as in the nearby Armas, Fundadores and Universidad plazas, to protest a landmark decision made by Mexico’s Supreme Court at the end of January. The ruling invalidated language in local laws declaring marriage only to be between a man and woman.
Organizers say they are expecting 100,000 people to attend the protest. Since Tuesday, volunteers for organizations such as Jalisco es Uno por los Niños have been handing out fliers to motorists urging them to join in the demonstration.
The protest follows the decision by metro-area mayors to endorse the Supreme Court ruling and instruct registrars at civil registry offices to accept the applications of same-sex couples seeking to get married.
Conservatives hope a big turn out on Saturday will put pressure on state legislators wavering over whether to change the Jalisco Civil Code to reflect the Supreme Court ruling.
Some legal experts say the State Congress could be in breach of Mexico’s Constitution if they fail to pass new legislation legitimizing same-sex marriage.
The LGBT advocacy group Union Diversa de Jalisco has called the attitude of protestors “absurd” and “retrograde,” likening them to people who “opposed giving the vote to women.”
Union Diversa pleaded with its supporters to stay away from the demonstration and not be drawn into any conflict or provocation.
While conceding that the conservative movement has every right to free expression. Union Diversa stressed that the rights of same-sex couples are now enshrined in law and that the only thing that will come out of such demonstrations is an increase in hate crimes and violence.