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Four Priests Outed as Pope Offers Support for Mexico Gay Marriage Protesters

Four Priests Outed as Pope Offers Support for Mexico Gay Marriage Protesters

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Pope Francis applauded anti-LGBT protesters fighting "in favor of family and life."

Activists in Mexico have reportedly outed four Catholic priests who are allegedly in same-sex relationships, following numerous marches against marriage equality in Mexico.

"Everyone deserves the right to be in the closet, but when you come out and condemn homosexuality, condemn gay marriage, and try to influence a secular state, you've lost the right to the closet," Cristian Galarza, a representative for LGBT rights group National Pride Front, told U.K. newspaper the Telegraph.

On September 10 and 11, anti-LGBT activists in over 16 cities marched to fight equal marriage in Mexico, after Mexican President Enrique Nieto introduced legislation that would bring equality nationwide. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, couples have to individually lobby each of Mexico's state courts to get those restrictions overturned.

Opponents of equality, dressed in white, took to the streets again Saturday in Mexico City for a protest that organizers say numbered 120,000 people, many of whom chanted "Biology, not ideology!" The organizers told press that same-sex unions weaken the institution of marriage, while posing a danger to children.

"In a democratic society, you cannot impose a single thought," said Mario Alberto Romo of the National Front for the Family, the right-wing group spearheading the protests. The group says millions of Mexicans have taken part in the demonstrations.

The mayor's office, however, was more bullish about attendance on Saturday, estimating the count was a more modest 30,000.

The Catholic Church hasn't openly condoned the wave of protests against marriage equality in the largely Catholic nation, but many of its clergy members, including Archbishop Francisco Moreno Barron in Tijuana, have taken part in the demonstrations. Pope Francis further offered his words of support for protesters "in favor of family and life, which in these times require special pastoral and cultural attention around the world," the U.K.'s Independent reports.

Galarza argued that the church has an "improper influence in public policy," but many feel that outing marriage equality opponents goes too far.

"They can spin it any way they want, but they're ultimately using someone's sexual orientation as a tool against that person, which is exactly what the LGBT movement is not about," LGBT activist Enrique Torre Molina told the Telegraph. "If anyone knows how tough it can be to have your sexual orientation used against you, it is a gay or lesbian person."

Despite recent backlash, Galarza is confident the country will continue to move forward.

"There are various initiatives in Congress that expand the rights of LGBT people," Galarza explained. "We're not sure which one will go forward, but there will be marriage equality in Mexico. No doubt."

Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in several Latin American countries, including Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil.

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