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Thousands gather in Istanbul for anti-LGBTQ rally 

Organizers say they are rallying for family values, while rights groups protest the rally as a hate crime.
Protesters hold placards and flags during an anti-LGBT rally organized by pro-Islamic organizations in Istanbul on Sept. 18, 2022.

Thousands gathered in the conservative heart of Istanbul Sunday to urge the government to change its laws to protect the family by penalizing homosexuality and banning activities that support the LGBTQ movement. 

The Big Family Gathering, which was attended by about 150 conservative nongovernmental organizations from across Turkey, called on the government to close down LGBTQ associations; prevent any action or expression of support for homosexuality in public space; ban LGBTQ “propaganda,” particularly that which targets children on-screen; and penalize “all perverse movements that undermine traditional family values.”  

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