Madrid, Spain, Jun 20, 2005 / 22:00 pm
In the wake of Saturday’s historic pro-family demonstrations in Madrid that brought together more than one million people, the president of the civil rights watchdog site Hazteoir.org, Ignacio Arsuaga, accused the government and some media outlets of misreporting the turnout and the impact of the event.
Arsuaga, whose organization was one of the principal sponsors of the rally, called it an insult and an attempt at “manipulation” that government officials reported a turnout of only 166,000 at the demonstrations against the legalization of homosexual “marriages.” Madrid officials put the number at 700,000, while the event organizer, the Spanish Family Forum, said over 1 million attended.
Organizers of the event said turnout far exceeded expectations as participants filled the streets of downtown Madrid, carrying signs against the government’s intention to legalize gay marriage and the adoption of children by gay couples and in support of the traditional family. The rally was the largest such gathering in the history of Spain.