.- On Saturday, Feb. 19, hundreds of Peruvian Catholics gathered at the entrance to the Cathedral of Lima to pray a Rosary for Peace in response to a âKiss-in Against Homophobiaâ organized by a small group of homosexuals and lesbians just a few yards away from the church.
This was the second time gay activists staged a âkiss-in,â after their first protest ended with police forcibly removing them from the steps of the cathedral on Feb. 12.
This time they came with the explicit blessing of Limaâs mayor, Susana Villaran, who has voiced her support for homosexual unions on numerous occasions.
Despite a heavy media campaign to promote the Feb. 19 âkiss-in,â only eight people showed up in Limaâs central square.
In response to the planned protest, some 200 Catholics showed up at 3:30 p.m. outside the cathedral and formed a human barrier for more than three hours. The group spent the time peacefully praying the Rosary and singing hymns.
Not surprisingly, a large contingent of reporters and cameramen showed up to cover the protest by three gay couples and a pair of lesbians.
Daniel Torres Cox, who came to pray the rosary, told ACI Prensa, âWe are really here to protect our faith in some way.â He called the homosexual protest âan attack on what we believe in, and thatâs why we are here, to simply protect that.â
Nancy Freundt of the Center for the Promotion of Natural Family Planning said that in Peru homosexuals are not persecuted, âbut they do provoke and challenge us because they want to do away with every moral principle, and for them the Catholic Church represents everything they want to tear down.
âThe Catholic Church isnât a pile of bricks. The Church is all of us Catholics who live and profess our faith,â Freundt said.
The Catholics gathered outside the cathedral ended their prayers around 6:45 p.m., after successfully preventing the homosexual couples from approaching the cathedral. The group of Catholics promised they would gather again if the gay activists staged another protest.
The âKiss-in Against Homophobiaâ was organized by gay activists to protest the widespread rejection of homosexual unions in Peru. A measure that would have allowed such unions was shelved by the Peruvian Congress on Feb.8 as unconstitutional. The countryâs Constitution establishes that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
Recent polls show that 75 percent of Peruvians oppose homosexual âmarriage.â