Thousands in Murcia: “Our children belong to us”
“Parents are ready to fight this battle”, says evangelical pastor Ángel Zapata, one of the organisers of a march that gathered 5,000 against the new sex education policies of the Spanish government.
Protestante Digital · MURCIA · 04 MARCH 2020 · 15:16 CET
Around 5,000 people marched through the city of Murcia (South East of Spain) on February 29 to defend the right of parents to educate their children in values.
The demonstration was an answer to the plans and statements of the Education Minister of the Spanish government, Isabel Celáa, who said that “children do not belong to their parents”.
Other members of the central government emphasised these conviction as they announced in January that they would refute the so-called ‘parental pin’ which gives parents in the Region of Murcia the right to decide whether their children attend special workshops and talks which could collide with their deeply held values and beliefs.
Many parents had complained over talks on sexuality and LGBT issues that had have been backed by the government in the last few years – contents that are usually given by external activists of certain ideological groups.
“CHILDREN DO NOT BELONG TO THE STATE”
“Our children belong to us” was the motto of the march, and other signs with messages such as “The children do not belong to the State” and “For an education free of gender ideology”.
The gathering was a “success”, the group of organisers said. People of evangelical faith were part of the organisation, including evangelical pastor Ángel Zapata, who also serves as President of the Evangelical Council of Murcia.
Zapata was the person chosen to read the final manifesto, which alluded to articles of the international law and the Spanish Constitution that protect the rights of children and parents in the area of education.
Around other 30 organisations supported the march. Political party Vox, member of the right-wing Murcia coalition government and main backer of the ‘parental pin’, publicly expressed its support.
STRONG MEDIA COVERAGE
Speaking to Spanish news website Protestante Digital, Ángel Zapata underlines that the march had “a large following and a notable media impact”, and that there were no incidents. Not only local newspapers and radios covered the demonstration but also the Spanish national broadcaster TVE and private television La Sexta.
According to Zapata, it was important to let their voice be heard in a matter that continues to be part of a social debate in Spain. “It has been an opportunity to go out and reclaim our role as parents. We will see what happens now, but parents are ready to fight this battle, and if there is a need for us to go back to the streets again, we will do so”.
Media reports about the march underlined the evangelical presence in the demonstration, which was also supported by Catholic entities. Ángel Zapata confirmed that many evangelical parents are worried about the advance of gender ideology in schools.
The next step for the organisers will be to ask for a meeting with the government of Murcia to “deliver the manifesto and show our support and solidarity with the regional government, so that they know there are thousands of parents who support them on this issue”.