The News
The News
Friday 15 of October 2021

A Nation Divided

Sunday's LGBTTTI march in Mexico City,photo: Cuartoscuro/Adolfo Vladimir
Sunday's LGBTTTI march in Mexico City,photo: Cuartoscuro/Adolfo Vladimir
The rumblings of rebellions are a prelude to the debate that is to come in Congress

Rumblings of a new Christian rebellion against the Mexican government sounded last Saturday when at least a quarter of a million Christians of all shades — from Catholics to Pentecostals — took to the streets to show their repudiation to the possibility of legalizing same sex marriage.

There was an immediate reaction calling to bring Cardinal Norberto Rivera to trial for organizing the anti-gay “pro-family” marches. But on Sunday Metropolitan Miter spokesman priest Hugo Valdemar denied that the Catholic Church was behind the massive march which took place in at least 20 of the 32 Mexican states and involved at least 75 cities and towns. The organizers of the protests claim they had over one million people march for the most part dressed in white, as a symbol against the LGBTTTI multi-colored flag.

Nevertheless, Cardinal Rivera has been actively denouncing President Enrique Peña Nieto’s initiative in Congress to legalize “equalitarian” marriage nationwide and asking the Catholic flock, through an organization called Parents for the Family, to stand united against it.

Protestant ministers have done the same, with the Bible in hand speaking against the unholy nature of the law for the simple reason that “it goes against the word of God.”

The reason why Cardinal Rivera is claiming he’s got nothing to do with the organization of the many demonstrations is that Constitutional Article 130 clearly bans religious organizations from getting involved in politics, which, of course, Rivera has blatantly been doing.

Article 130 says “cult ministers will not be able to associate for political goals nor proselytize in favor or against a candidate, party or any political organization; Neither will they be able in public gatherings, in cult acts of religious propaganda or publications of religious nature to oppose the laws of the nation or its institutions, or insult in any form the nation’s symbols.”

On the other side, demonstrations for the legalization of equalitarian marriage were getting organized Sunday particularly in different cities which are deemed bastions of same sex partnerships. On Sunday, a LGBTTTI contingent of about 15,000 people protested at the gates of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, where Cardinal Rivera delivers his Sunday homily.

The rumblings of rebellions are a prelude to the debate that is to come in Congress, where the presidential same-sex marriage bill has struck dissonant chords even in the president’s own Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) where some solons are making moves to pull the bill out of proposal.

On the contrary, left wing parties headed by Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) Senator Miguel Barbosa are adamantly demanding that the bill be not only discussed, but approved.

What is a reality is that the theme is not merely dividing the nation into two different societies of liberals and conservatives but that once again, in the eyes of many, the Catholic Church is back on track trying to regain the political control it had in the early days of the Mexican Republic.

From 1824, when the first Constitution was drafted, to 1859, the Catholic Church legally controlled the government until it lost the War of Reform (1857-1859) in which the separation of church and state was legally established in Mexico. During its tenure Catholicism was the nation’s only legal religion.

The Catholic Church has a lobbying party — the National Action Party (PAN) — which for the most part acts as a lay organization. But in the debate, if President Peña does not withdraw the bill proposing equalitarian marriage, expect PAN Deputies and Senators to be on the side of the Catholic Church.

Basically, during the debate — if it comes at all — two postures will be adamant. One, the lay law now ruling the nation, and on the other, the word of God pertaining to “natural” sexual behavior will be predominant.

LGBTTI groups claim that Cardinal Rivera and his “hordes” are promoting hatred towards individuals who are protected as individuals, not couples or family, under the law.

It remains to be seen what happens, but in the meantime, the stone of discord between two large groups of Mexican voters has been cast, by both sides.