A photographer has captured the incredible moment a 12-year-old boy tried to stop thousands of anti-gay protesters from marching against same-sex marriage in Mexico over the weekend.
Photo journalist Manuel Rodríguez spotted the moving image of the child, his arms outstretched in front of a sprawling mass of demonstrators, in the city of Celaya, Guanajuato, as thousands took to the streets of Mexico
on Saturday (September 10) to protest against President President Peña Nieto proposal change the country's constitution to allow same-sex marriage nationally.
"At first I thought the child was only playing," Rodríguez told Regeneración
After the child was safely removed from the road, the photographer says he asked him why he did it.
"I have an uncle who is gay," the boy replied. "And I hate people that hate."
Organised by the National Front for the Family, a coalition of conservative civil society organisations and religious groups, Saturday's marches against equality took place up and down the country, attracting an estimated 40,000 people - and up to 11,000 in Celaya alone.
Counter-demonstrations supporting the introduction of equal marriage took the place the next day as Mexico continues to grapple with the issue of LGBT equality.
Equal marriage is currently permitted in Mexico City as well as 10 of the country's 31 states, including Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora.
Mexico’s supreme court said last year that laws restricting marriage to a man and woman were unconstitutional, but many state legislatures have failed to act upon the ruling.
President Peña Nieto has called on Congress to address the debate in order to settle the issue for good across the country.
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