Political leaders told crowds at the March for Marriage to not be afraid to speak the truth about marriage and the unique and essential role both a father and a mother play in a child's life.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum told CNA during the June 19 March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. that supporters of marriage should "reclaim marriage" and be "proclaiming marriage for the public good it is."

"Marriage is a unique bond between a man and a woman," he said, noting its "stabilizing" benefits not only for children, but for society as a whole.

The March, which was the second national demonstration recognizing marriage's unique role as an institution that unites a man and a woman, was held on the National Mall.

Participants in the March met in front of the U.S. Capitol building for a rally, and then walked three quarters of a mile to the U.S. Supreme Court building, where the group gathered in prayer and song.

Those who could not physically attend the march were invited to join in prayer and fasting, along with a live webstream of the event.

The first March for Marriage was held March 26, 2013, during the first day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court concerning the federal definition of marriage and states' ability to define marriage.

In June 2013, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on the case, deciding that that the federal government should accept the definitions of marriage offered by each state rather than holding its own definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

The court also discarded a case defending a California amendment approved by voters to defend the definition of marriage on procedural grounds. Because it was discarded by the high court, a lower court's ruling that the amendment was unconstitutional to stand.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage praised the participants' use of "collective action" to proclaim the nature of marriage.

"We are making a public statement," Brown said to CNA.

Brown also noted the "massive diversity in our movement," "united" around the same cause, drawing participants from a number of faiths, ethnic groups, and languages.

Ludovine de la Rochere, president of La Manif Pour Tous, a French demonstration in support of marriage, told crowds that "each child needs his father and his mother," saying  that neither could "take the place of the other."

"I'm gay and I'm against same sex marriage" said Doug Mainwaring, co-founder of National Capital Tea Party Patriots during his speech.

He explained that having access to their father and mother gives children the opportunity for stability, adding that for these reasons he was also opposed to no-fault divorce.

Because of the unique fruits of marriage, and his own personal perspective, Mainwaring encouraged the crowd "not to give into the message of same-sex marriage as a human rights issue."

Santorum expressed that marriage "has such a profound impact on society today."

He pointed out that social science studies show those who are not married "just don't do as well" in a variety of social well-being markers, lamenting that already, "more and more women are raising children on their own" due to the collapse of marriage.

He recognizd, however, that many in society do not understand the stabilizing factor marriage has for families, and through them all of society.

Because of this misunderstanding, Santorum expressed his hope that marriage defenders would, above all,  take a "tone of love, not of judgement," when explaining the truth about marriage.