Tens of thousands took to the streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador on June 22 in support of life, marriage, conscience protections, and parental rights.
Organizers said more than 100,000 people attended the march, which had as its theme, “Respect the Constitution, the family and life.”
The demonstrators demanded the nullification of a ruling by the Constitutional Court of Ecuador which opens the door to redefining marriage. They also voiced their opposition to attempts to legalize abortion, medical marijuana, and sex change operations on minors without parental consent.
The march was organized by several groups defending life and the family, including the Guayaquil Family Network, I'm the One to Educate My Children, Ecuador for the Family, the Young People's Front of Ecuador, Don't Mess with my Children, Lawyers for Life, and the National Front for the Family.
In a statement, the organizers charged that a recent ruling from the Constitutional Court, which paves the way for the redefinition of marriage, violates Article 67 of the Constitution, which says, “Marriage is the union between man and woman, to be based on the free consent of the contracting persons and with equal rights, obligations, and legal capacity.”
“The sovereign authority, that is, the Ecuadoran people, is defending its rights and fighting so they don't keep passing laws attacking the life, health and security of the family, and attacking children, the most vulnerable of beings,” they said.
They also warned that the National Assembly of Ecuador is debating a measure that would legalize abortion in cases of incest, rape, and fetal deformity.
Abortion is currently only legal in the country in cases of the rape of a woman with mental disabilities or when the mother’s life is determined to be at risk.
In addition, leaders of the march argued against a proposal to legalize the cultivation and consumption of medical marijuana, saying that it “puts children and adolescents in real risk of addiction in a State that has not been able control the consumption of other drugs.”
Other proposals that organizers objected to include a surrogacy measure, sex change operations on minors without parental consent, same-sex adoption, and requiring doctors to perform abortions.
The organizers of the march said that they are gathering signatures “to continue fighting until the nullification of these laws is accomplished through a referendum. The marches will continue in the coming days in other cities.”
Another march will be held in Quito, Ecuador's capital, on June 29.