WASHINGTON D.C. (Christian Examiner) – About 7,000 people were bused Saturday morning to the third-annual March for Marriage at the Washington Mall and they were joined by another estimated 3,000 marchers -- all to show support for defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
The crowd was overwhelmingly Latino, many rallying behind New York state Sen. Rubén Díaz Sr. (D), a Bronx minister, who rallied the crowd in Spanish, according to the Washington Post.
"Several held Catholic red banners and March for Marriage signs printed in English and Spanish," the Post reported. "The crowd chanted a Spanish phrase that roughly translates to 'Without God, the country is going down.'"
The orderly crowd walked behind a Catholic marching band up to the Supreme Court, where justices on Tuesday will hear arguments about states' rights to define marriage as between one man and one woman. A final decision is expected in June.
Same-sex marriage is legal now in 37 states plus the nation's capital, largely because of judicial activism:
-- 26 have had voter-approved amendments overturned by courts.
-- 13 still only allow marriage between one man and one woman. But among these, 10 have had a judge overturn the ballot measures and appeals are in progress.
-- 8 state legislatures passed laws making same-sex marriages legal (Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont).
-- Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approved measures to legalize gay unions, as did the electorate in the District of Columbia.
Alabama's traditional definition of marriage also was voided but the state's highest court has intervened to stop gay marriages.
Not surprisingly, court partisanship has been evident in the multiple federal court rulings that overturned voter approved amendments to define marriage in traditional terms. The trend of dramatic judicial support for homosexual marriage coincides with changes President Obama has been able to effect in the makeup of the courts, in particular the U.S. Courts of Appeals.
The New York Times reported Sept. 13, 2014, that for the first time in a decade "judges appointed by Democratic presidents considerably outnumber judges appointed by Republican presidents" and that Democratic appointees who hear full cases "now hold a majority of seats on nine of the 13 United States Courts of Appeals." Eight of those nine, now liberal courts, were reshaped by the president during his six years in office. Only the 9th Circuit in San Francisco was predominately liberal when he won election.
Four remain solidly conservative, including the 5th (New Orleans, Louisiana), 6th (Cincinnati, Ohio), 7th (Chicago, Illinois) and 8th (St. Louis, Missouri).
FIGHT FOR MARRIAGE CONTINUES
There are 22 states fighting for the right to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
-- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia joined in signing on to the legal briefs for Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee in the cases now before the Supreme Court.
-- Two other states are engaged in defending voter-approved marriage amendments, just lower on the federal level: Nebraska has filed an appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Florida's appeal is on hold with the 11th Circuit Court until the present Supreme Court case is concluded.
"People can no longer say there's no strong opposition to gay marriage," said Brian Brown, who organized the first National Organization for Marriage march in 2013.
"The March for Marriage is a powerful demonstration to the media, opinion leaders, legislators and jurists that a majority of Americans still stand for marriage as it has been traditionally and historically defined and handed down through the centuries," Brown posted to the organization's website, www. Marriagemarch.org. "A recent national survey found that 53 percent of American voters believe that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman, and that 61 percent of voters are opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court forcing states to require same-sex 'marriage.'
"It's time for the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the legitimacy of state laws and constitutional provisions defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman," Brown's website note continued. "This is what marriage intrinsically is, and any ruling forcing states to abandon this construct of marriage will not be legitimate."
Sen. Ted Cru (R-Tex) and Rick Santorum a former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, asked to send videos to the rally, Brown said, but event organizers "chose to focus the event on religious leaders," according to the Post's report.
"We will not be silenced ... we are not alone," Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the crowd to cheers, according to an AP report.
Orthodox priest Hans Jacobse warned that "society will crumble" if same-sex unions were legalized. "Marriage begins with God, not with the state," Jacobse added.
Several reports have noted the "inevitability" of gay marriage in the U.S., but that's not necessarily true, Brown told the Post. "They think that they've won, but they thought they won Prop. 8 too," Brown said, referring to California's vote to make marriage between a man and a woman.