March for Marriage to set tone 3 days ahead of Supreme Court case about gay weddings

by Karen L. Willoughby, |

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – The third March for Marriage figures to be the most significant to date, organizers say, because this year it takes place April 25, only three days before the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of state marriage amendments defining the family institution as between one man and one woman.

"The March will be an opportunity to stand for the good of marriage in our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to demonstrate our commitment to the well-being of children," wrote Bishop Richard Malone and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairmen of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, in a recent letter to the nation's Catholic leaders.

Others added emphasis about the looming legal judgment.

"The anticipated decision of the Supreme Court positions itself to be the most important judicial ruling in our nation since the infamous Roe v Wade decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion," the Family Research Council stated in a press release.

Saturday's March for Marriage is scheduled to start at noon in front of the U.S. Capitol with a rally and speakers. Participants will walk along Constitution Avenue beginning at 1 p.m. and finish at the Supreme Court Building.

"The 2015 March for Marriage is our last, best opportunity to reach the U.S. Supreme Court before they decide whether marriage as it has existed throughout our history is unconstitutional," according to organizers via the group's website. "For months, activist federal judges across the country have issued illegitimate rulings redefining marriage against the will of 50 million state voters, and legislators who voted to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

Elaine and Ray Franco from Virginia Beach, Virginia, brought their 8-year-old daughter Maria to last year's March for Marriage. Elaine Franco told the Washington Post it is important to teach their daughter values and to support civic activities like this.

"When you take time from your busy schedule to come out for an event like this it shows them that it's important," she said. "And if you don't stand up for your principles, then what are you?"

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and now a possible 2016 presidential contender, spoke last year. No White House candidates are among the 16 speakers slated for this year's event.

"When people talk about marriage, it's not about trying to tell people how to live, it's trying to make sure people live the best they can," Huckabee said during the 2015 rally. "The ideal is a man and a woman, married for life, creating children, or adopting them and then training them to be their replacements, and giving them the love and nurture that both a mother and father have to give."

For two years, liberal state and federal courts have used the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, which overturned the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act as an "unprecedented intrusion into the States' authority over domestic relations," to invalidate state marriage laws and voter-approved amendments protecting the traditional definition of marriage.

"This spring, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to correct the course of lower courts and reaffirm its previous declarations that marriage policy 'by history and tradition' has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate states," according to the Family Research Council. "Given the profound costs to the rule of law, federalism, and First Amendment freedoms that will result from a judicial redefinition of marriage imposed on all 50 states, the Supreme Court would be wise to leave to the democratic process a policy question nowhere answered in the U.S. Constitution."