ROME, June 22, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - As the Italian Prime Minister is trying to push through a same-sex union law, hundreds of thousands showed up Saturday in Rome to demonstrate against so-called gay marriage in the largest pro-family demonstration in Italy's history.
San Giovanni Square, which holds an estimated 300,000 people, was packed, with many more overflowing into the streets. Organizers are claiming as many as one million showed up for the pro-marriage rally, including about 100 members of Parliament. The president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council on the Family, Abp. Vincenzo Paglia, was also present and offered a special blessing for the crowd.
Although comprised mainly of Catholics, other faith groups also took part, including evangelicals, Muslims and Jews. Demonstrators held signs that read "Let's defend our children" and "The family will save the world," among others. In addition to defending marriage, participants also condemned gender theory.
The pro-marriage demonstration comes on the heels of a gay pride march in Rome last week, where several thousand gay activists marched through downtown Rome, complete with lewd displays of half-naked men and heavily made-up transvestites dancing on brightly colored floats.
Festivities were dampened, however, after the Pope condemned so-called gay marriage the very next day in a public address in which he praised the necessity of children having both a mother and a father; he described it as "an integral part of being human."
"Children mature seeing their father and mother like this; their identity matures being confronted with the love their father and mother have, confronted with this difference."
Italy remains the only country in Western Europe that hasn't legalized gay "marriage" or same-sex unions. In spite of the national ban, the mayor of Rome has ignored the law by registering same-sex couples from other countries. The civil union bill is currently before the Italian Senate, and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is hoping for a vote before the end of July.