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More than 200,000 Christians gathered last week in Puerto Rico’s capital in protest of proposals that would introduce same-sex marriages, saying that they are standing up for traditional values and protecting the family in the largest such demonstration in the history of the US commonwealth.

Campaign

Gathering in front of San Juan’s Capitol building, hundreds of thousands of Christian Puerto Ricans marched the streets while protesting against the idea of granting gay couples legal rights.

The “Puerto Rico Stands Up” campaign has been drawing hundreds of thousands of believers for some weeks in the capital city of San Juan, bringing traffic to a standstill as the homosexual rights debate in the U.S commonwealth nation continues.

“Traffic was snarled for miles leading toward the San Juan islet as buses packed with marchers headed toward the north side of the Capitol,” described the Puerto Rican-based Caribbean Business. The mass demonstration, which took just three weeks to organise, drew in protesters from all types of Christian denominations who oppose same-sex marriage.

Puerto Rico currently does not recognise same-sex unions of any kind. It is still a notably religious territory, with the Roman Catholic Church, which officially opposes homosexual marriage, claiming over two-thirds of the population.

Concerned

Vazquez Muniz, spokesman for Puerto Rico for the family, the organisation behind the protest. “…We are concerned that laws will be created to discriminate against the church… We are concerned that public education will be used to change our children, presenting them with behaviours their parents don’t think are correct.”

Muniz added “This demonstration tells the government that there are things that they cannot touch and those are marriage and family.”

Some lawmakers are seeking to pass an amendment to the Domestic Violence Act 54 to make the conditions of the legislation apply to all couples, gay or straight.

“It is a measure of justice and a desire that all citizens have equal access to protection from assault, intimidation, or potential domestic violence in their relationships,” Puerto Rican Sen. Luis Vega Ramos told reporters.

But in Puerto Rico, massive opposition to the move could prevent gay couples from receiving any sort of protections. The wave of protesters, blaring gospel music and brandishing large posters, campaigned that the proposed legislation would discriminate against the church.

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