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Marriage and Family

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Marriage and Family

March for Marriage in Washington DC

Washington DC, USA - In front of the US Capitol on a sunny and hot June 19, 2014, several thousand marriage supporters as well as over 40 cosponsors gathered for speeches and a March for Marriage.

Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, was a key organizer, and the event was supported by The Washington Times, elected officials from both parties, and civic and religious leaders of many faiths. In addition to local people, busloads of people from churches and community centers came from as far as New York. A large portion of the crowd were Hispanic, but throughout the crowd, Buddhists monks in saffron robes were welcoming people and a group of Hassidic Jews walked around with a large banner saying, "One Man, One Woman = Marriage."

The atmosphere was both festive, celebrating marriage and the family, and serious as speakers shared evidence that the attack on traditional marriage would only deteriorate the fundamental social stability that marriage brings to children.

Brian Brown opened with a summary declaration, "We stand for truth and love," and then introduced a long array of speakers. The first speaker, Salvatore Cordalione, Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Defense of Marriage, called on the audience to uphold the ideal of marriage but also show love to all people: single parents, divorced, those who struggle with infidelity, infertility, and those who have same-sex attraction. He described a special need to love those who are hostile and seem to hate those who stand for the truth about marriage. He advised not to cultivate a culture of hate, because "love in truth is the answer" and that every child deserves to be raised by the loving mother and father who brought them into life.

Many speakers referred to God's design of marriage while others referred to social science. Many noted marriage is not only a romantic relationship based on feelings but marriage has a unique purpose as the only institution that helps bind fathers to their children and their mothers. Optimal human development depends on stability and strength of the commitment, unique relationship and procreative potential of one man and one woman.

Although, those promoting the natural family are often accused of being hateful towards gays and lesbians, in the speeches and from the crowd there was no expression of negativity toward homosexuals, only concern for what is best for children fundamentally. The messages were varied but clearly not about discriminating against homosexuals. In fact one of the speakers, Doug Mainwaring, a proud, pro-traditional marriage homosexual, pronounced "it is not homophobic to oppose same-sex marriage because kids need and deserve to have a mom and dad at home." He implored the audience not to buy into the false civil rights messaging of same-sex activists, because "religion and intact biological married families are the two great bulwarks for freedom in society," offering protection from the tyranny of government. He called people not to be intimidated by the accusation of homophobia but instead speak up loudly to support marriage of one man and one woman.

After the speeches, the crowd marched to the Supreme Court building, where they were met by a small crowd standing across the street with a rainbow flag and a large sign saying, "Love not Hate." The marchers quietly, one by one, knelt on the sidewalk and prayed. After several minutes the marchers got up and continued on their march to its conclusion.

Upon reaching their destination, although the marchers were clearly physically tired from the lengthy time in the intense heat, there was an atmosphere of a "job well done" and feeling of reassurance and new spiritual energy to continue standing up for the natural family, stronger than ever and, as Brian Brown said, "in love serving the truth."

In the evening a gala dinner was held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel for pro-family leaders and organizations. During the program Dr. Ryan Anderson, a Heritage Foundation scholar who co-authored the book, What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, and Dr. Ben Carson, conservative American columnist and retired neurosurgeon. were awarded for their work defending traditional marriage. Prof. Robert George of Princeton University, co-author of What Is Marriage?, introduced both recipients.

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