Marching for marriage a year after Obergefell

Marriage | Scenes from fourth annual March for Marriage in Washington, D.C.
by Ciera Horton
Posted 6/25/16, 06:00 pm

WASHINGTON—One year after the Supreme Court verdict allowing same-sex couples to get marriage licenses, about 200 people gathered in Washington to defend biblical values in the March for Marriage.

Marchers stood behind the Capitol building as children meandered through the crowds, carrying signs stating: “Every child deserves a Mom and Dad.” One man blew through a shofar, a musical ram’s horn used in Jewish ceremonies, and hoisted a sign that read: “The rainbow was created by God as a ‘sign’ to Noah.”

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) organized the fourth annual march. Saturday’s protest was the first since the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, and since the Obama administration’s directive to public schools to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

Speakers at the protest advocated for traditional marriage on the basis of biology and Christian principles.

“Let’s march today to protest what’s wrong, but more so to promote what is right,” said Francis Schubert, a legislative advocate for traditional marriage. “Let us also march to call on our elected officials to respect and celebrate the unique and irreplaceable contributions that marriage and the two complementary genders contribute to human flourishing.”

The March for Marriage leaders tried to carefully and gracefully articulate their position, especially in light of the Orlando shooting that killed 49 people at a gay nightclub.

“There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of young people across America who believe the same way that you do,” Kassie Doolan said. “They want to stand up for that belief in a gracious but loving way.”

As the march headed to the Supreme Court, musicians struck up a bagpipe tune. Mothers pushed strollers, children carried banners, and many people held blue and red flags that whipped in the wind.

But not everyone in attendance on Saturday supported the March for Marriage movement. Protesters from the LGBT community also made an appearance

An argument broke out between a lesbian protester, Carol Scholtz, and a Catholic supporter, John Richie. Standing beside her partner, Scholtz started shouting, “Love, not hate.” Richie shouted back, “Lust is not love.” Richie called Scholtz immoral and homosexuality “intrinsically evil, it’s a disorder,” while Scholtz swore and challenged his faith. When Scholtz asked if the massacre at Orlando was justified because the victims were gay, Richie refused to give a clear answer. Meanwhile One Catholic priest walked to up LGBT picketers and hugged them.

Some marriage supporters were concerned about more than homosexuality. They feared broader implications surrounding the redefinition of marriage.

“When you don’t define marriage as monogamous, or you define it as gay marriage, then what you’re doing is you’re tending toward the breakdown of monogamy,” said Razi Lane from North Carolina. “Open marriages can’t be sustainable in a civil society.”

Advocates encouraged attendees to support the First Amendment Defense Act that would prohibit the government from discriminating against individuals who believe marriage is between a man and a woman. The bill has over 170 co-sponsors in the House.

Ciera Horton

Ciera Horton is a World Journalism Institute graduate and former WORLD intern.

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