A photo of a 12-year-old boy standing defiant against thousands of anti-gay marchers in Mexico over the weekend has gone viral.
The protest was sparked after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed constitutional reform that favors same-sex marriage, which has been legalized in Mexico City and nine of the country’s 31 states.
The boy stood in front of a mass of more than 11,000 protesters with his hands outstretched during a demonstration Saturday by the National Front for the Family in the city of Celaya, according to the local newspaper Regeneración.
The reporter who took the photo, Manuel Rodríguez, said that at first he thought the boy was just playing, but when he asked the boy why he was doing it, responded, “I have an uncle [who's] gay and I don’t like the hate.”
Many have noted that the photo of the boy resembles the "tank man" image shot in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, Rodríguez said.
Many of the parades and rallies against gay marriage were organized by Roman Catholic Church Bishops across Mexico, according to reports.
Last week, Andres Cruz, the president of Comunidad Cultural de Tijuana LGBTI, a civil rights and support group that supports same-sex marriage, filed a complaint against Tijuana’s Catholic archbishop, Francisco Moreno-Barrón, who was said encouraged participation in many of the events.
The protesters "are creating hate, and this leads to physical aggression against people in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities," Cruz said in an interview with the LA Times. “We have the right to defend our values,” Moreno said in a recent homily, as he spoke of his intention to join the march in Tijuana.