A powerful photo of a twelve-year-old boy’s attempt to block an 11,000-strong anti-marriage equality protest in Mexico last weekend has gone viral around the world.
The photograph, which shows the boy’s standing in front of the approaching crowd with his arms outstretched, was taken by journalist Manuel Rodriguez at the protest in Mexican city Celaya last Saturday.
It was published online by Regeneracion and has been shared and republished around the world.
“At first I thought the child was only playing,” Rodriguez told the publication.
But he said that when he later asked the boy why he’d stood in front of the protesters, the boy said, “I have an uncle who’s gay and I hate people that hate.”
— Regeneración (@RegeneracionMx) September 12, 2016
The protest was organised by the National Front for the Family, a coalition of civil and religious groups, in response to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s plans to legalise marriage equality in all Mexican states.
Local activists say the president’s announcement was met with an increase in homophobic violence in the conservative country.
Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Mexico City and in nine of 31 states and the Mexican Supreme Court last year ruled state bans on same-sex couples marrying were unconstitutional.