Last Saturday some 20,000 people from around Costa Rica dressed in white t-shirts paraded down a main street in San José to express their opposition to a legislative proposal to make gay marriage legal.

The Legislative Assembly’s commission on human rights is currently studying a proposal that would legalise same-sex unions.

“We are making a call to legislators against the proposal that is currently before the Legislative Assembly, that would consent the union of homosexuals,” march participant Reynaldo Salazar said, according to CostaRicapages.com.

The march was organised by the Costa Rican Evangelical Alliance two weeks after the Bishops’ Conference of Costa Rica made a formal plea to lawmakers, asking them to reject a law that would grant gay civil unions the same legal status as marriage.

In their formal plea the Bishops warned that politicians “cannot and should not legislate against correct reasoning, because if they pass the law, it would loose moral force.

“Laws favourable to homosexual unions are contrary to correct reasoning because they confer legal guarantees proper to the institution of marriage to unions between people of the same sex.

“Considering the values in question, the State cannot legalize these unions without failing in its duty to promote and protect an essential institution for the common good, which marriage is.”

Although Costa Rica has a substantial level of gay tourism such as gay-only resorts, the Roman Catholic Church wields considerable influence.