Pope Benedict XVI is being called on to limit speaking out against gay marriage during his upcoming visit to Mexico.

Speaking on Monday to a gathering of diplomats from nearly 180 countries accredited to the Vatican, the pope warned that gay marriage threatens humanity.

He said that children need proper “settings” and that “pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman.”

“This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself,” he said.

The leftist lawmaker Leticia Quezada criticized the pope's remarks and appealed to religious leaders to “adopt a language according to the times we are living,” the Spanish news agency EFE reported.

She said that it was “high time” the leaders of the world, starting with the pontiff, realize “that making such comments encourages hatred and discrimination.”

Quezada noted that gay marriage is legal in Mexico City.

“The Mexican government should set an example and avoid these kinds of homophobic and hurtful comments,” she added.

The pope is scheduled to arrive in Mexico for a 3-day visit on March 23.