‘Resisting deviation’: Thousands protest gay unions, adoptions in Rome (PHOTOS)

People attend a rally against same-sex unions and gay adoption in Rome, Italy January 30, 2016. © Remo Casilli
Tens of thousands took to the streets of Rome to demand that the Italian government give up on a law that would provide gay couples legal recognition and limited adoption rights.

The large crowd, which included Catholic priests, gathered at the Circus Maximus venue in the center of the Italian capital on Saturday. 

People attend a rally against same-sex unions and gay adoption in Rome, Italy January 30, 2016. © Remo Casilli

The protesters were carrying Italy’s national flags and banners, reading: “No to civil unions,” AP reported.

Protesters hold a banner reading "It is wrong even if it becomes law" during a rally against same-sex unions and gay adoption in Rome, Italy January 30, 2016. © Remo Casilli

The so-called “Family Day” protest was staged under the motto: “To protect families and children.”

Protesters hold signs reading "It is wrong even if it becomes law" during a rally against same-sex unions and gay adoption in Rome, Italy January 30, 2016.  © Remo Casilli

“Italy is one of the few western countries that is still resisting this deviation,” Massimo Gandolfini, the organizer of demonstration, told Sky Tg24.

Priests shout slogans during a rally against same-sex unions and gay adoption in Rome, Italy January 30, 2016. © Remo Casilli

Premier Matteo Renzi’s coalition government plans to legalize same-sex civil unions and allow homosexuals to adopt the biological children of their partners. 

People attend a rally against same-sex unions and gay adoption in Rome, Italy January 30, 2016. © Remo Casilli

However, there’s little unity on the gay rights issue in the government, with some ministers openly opposing the initiative.

Italy’s interior minister, Angelino Alfano, expressed “full adherence” to the ideas of the participants of the “Family Day” rally.

Environment minister Gian Luca Galletti was among those attending the Rome protest, telling Sky that her “values are not negotiable.”