The evangelical church fighting for repeal of a gay marriage law in Coahuila, Mexico pointed to its claims of helping people alter their sexuality as proof they love gays.

Cristo Vive Saltillo (Christ Lives Saltillo) is known for lending a helping hand in rehabilitating the lives of former prisoners and addicts. It raises money to run its Rescue House by selling burritos on the city streets.

The organization became the target of a boycott on social media after it organized a march in the tens of thousands through the streets of Saltillo, the capital and largest city of Coahuila, demanding lawmakers reverse course and reinstate Coahuila's former definition of marriage, which excluded gay couples.

(Related: Thousands protest start of gay marriage law in Saltillo, Mexico.)

Pastor Carlos Pacheco Ortiz responded to critics at a press conference where he introduced several young people who say the church helped them alter their sexuality.

“We cannot scientifically, socially or educationally change the model [of marriage],” Ortiz said. “And that's why so many people are upset, specifically some groups. But I respect them and I love them.”

“And if I didn't love that group of people with a different sexual orientation, these 12 young men who have been freed from homosexuality wouldn't be here, and the lady who was freed from lesbianism, and other lady was also freed from lesbianism,” he said pointing to a group of young men and women seated to his left wearing t-shirts adorned with the Cristo Vive logo.

One of the women said that she had been deceived by the Devil.

“When you do those things you feel dirty, you feel empty and incomplete,” she said.

One of the men testified that before God drove out the “homosexual spirits” from his life he was lost walking the streets “like he was a woman.”

The men and women said that being gay or lesbian had led them to prostitution, drugs and abusive relationships.

“Since we arrive at the Rescue House and met God our lives have changed, and we can assure you that we are now free from homosexuality, alcoholism and drug addition,” they said.

(Related: Mexican bishop claims allowing gay couples to marry will lead to man-dog unions.)