Pope Francis adamantly backs Mexico’s marriage equality protesters

Pope Francis asperses incense as he celebrates a Jubilee Mass for catechists, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016.

Pope Francis asperses incense as he celebrates a Jubilee Mass for catechists, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has voiced support for Mexican bishops and citizens opposing the government’s push to legalize same-sex marriage.

At his weekly Sunday blessing, Francis said he willingly joined their protest “in favor of family and life, which in these times require special pastoral and cultural attention around the world.”

Tens of thousands of people marched through Mexico City on Saturday to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto’s proposal on marriage. Wearing white, they held banners warning against same-sex marriage and demanding parents’ right to control sex education in schools.

Francis has opposed gay marriage and has railed against “gender ideology,” particularly as taught in schools. But he rarely intervenes publicly in national debates, preferring to let local bishops take the lead.

Francis visited the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Mexico in February.

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