Tens of thousands of people on Saturday marched through Mexico City to protest against a proposal to legalize marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples throughout Mexico.

While Mexico's highest court has ruled that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, most states continue to deny marriage licenses to gay couples. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in May asked lawmakers to debate the issue.

Saturday's march was organized by the Roman Catholic group National Front for the Family, which estimated at least 215,000 people participated in the march. Other estimates were as low as 80,000.

Demonstrators dressed mostly in white and carried white balloons.

Abraham Ledesma, an evangelical pastor from McAllen, Texas, participated in the march.

“We are not against anybody's [sexual] identity,” he told the AP. “What we are against is the government imposition … of trying to impose gender ideology in education. As religious leaders, we don't want to be forced to marry same-sex couples and call it marriage.”

A counter protest at Mexico's Independence Monument drew a couple hundred marriage equality supporters.