Foto de niño bloqueando protesta anti gay en Guanajuato, #México se vuelve viralhttps://t.co/ihZ8qwYc7f pic.twitter.com/TofksecuCQ— Noticias Telemundo (@TelemundoNews) September 12, 2016
In the image, the boy stands alone in the middle of the street with his arms outstretched in front of the multitude of protesters. He seemingly halts the demonstration including the police escort ahead of it.
Nationwide marches organized by the Frente Nacional por la Familia organization were held last Saturday across Mexico including the city of Celaya in Guanajuato where local newspaper photographer Manuel Rodriguez took the photo.
The image was not placed online by the publication Rodriguez works for but instead by an online news site via their Facebook page. The snapshot included the caption “I was nauseous by the sight of so much homophobia but I’ll stick with the image of a boy 'stopping' the protesters.”
Since the photo became more widespread via social media, Rodriguez has been accused of doctoring the image for political purposes or career advancement. Both accusations have been steadfastly denied by the photog who explained to Buzzfeed Mexico how he was placed on an elevated pedestrian crossing when the child ran on to the street and the image was taken.
According to Rodriguez, he asked the boy named Cesar why he leapt out on to the street and the child explained that he had a gay uncle and the boy was opposed to the hate he perceived in the protest.
“I was strongly impressed to listen to such a manner of expression by a boy of around 12-year-old,” Rodriguez said.
Though he admitted to being opposed to the purpose of the protest, Rodriguez explained that he uploaded the photo to his personal social media account and never intended for it to be made public.
“Perhaps critics think the photo is fake because the boy hasn’t made a public statement…(but) as I explained to a friend who thought I may have paid the child off to stage the photo, my job barely affords me to pay for food and transport,” he added.
The same-sex issue is a divisive one in Mexico that has involved the country’s powerful Roman Catholic archdiocese. A church publication last June, for example, claimed the children of homosexual couples lack “emotional stability” and gay parents “psychologically” affect their kids in a manner unseen in heterosexual parents.
For the Mexican LGBT movement, religious groups are disrespecting the division between church and state as well as promoting discrimination. Counterprotesters to the Frente Nacional por la Familia marched in front of Mexico City’s Catedral Metropolitana and called on Archbishop Norberto Rivera to be expelled from the Catholic Church over his strong stance against same-sex marriage.
President Enrique Peña Nieto has not been immune from the gay rights debate following his proposal last May to legalize same-sex marriage. Doing so would require a constitutional reform, which is not an easy task even though same-sex marriage is legal in Mexico City.
Thus far, same-sex marriage is legal in numerous Latin American states including Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia as well as a few local municipalities.
Twitter Source – Telemundo Noticias
Online Sources (English) – BBC News
Online Sources (Spanish) – Milenio, Buzzfeed Mexico, El Financiero, El Informador