Washington D.C., Jun 21, 2014 / 06:01 am
Defenders of marriage from around the United States came to Washington, D.C. Thursday for the March for Marriage to support the institution as one between a man and a woman.
"We're here to affirm that marriage matters – it's the foundation of society," Jenn Do of Rockville, Md., who came to the March with her children, told CNA June 19.
Do also said that she hoped her kids would learn from the march, and be "not afraid to speak the truth about what marriage is."
She added that while some court cases might rule against the definition of marriage, she refused to "swallow that it's a lost battle."
"People shouldn't give up hope."
The march was the second national demonstration recognizing marriage's unique role as an institution that unites a man and a woman. Participants met in front of the U.S. Capitol for a rally, and then walked three quarters of a mile to the 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 in March 2013, as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that eventually ordered the federal government to accept redefinitions of marriage in states that choose to redefine the institution.
In its June 2013 decisions, the high 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.
"It's good to be here" said Tom Pell, a senior at Providence College in Rhode Island who came with the Love and Fidelity Network, a group of college students who promote the traditional understanding of love and sexuality.
The effect of the changing definition of marriage "can be seen on college campuses" in the breakdown of relationships on campus and the rise of the hookup culture, he added.
Angelina Rivera, a young married mother from Patterson, N.J., told CNA that she was "here to demonstrate that we have a voice"
Her husband, David, told CNA that children "need that balance" – a balance in approach to parenting "that can only come from a mother and a father."
David also said that their experiences as young parents inspired them to come to the march, saying that their children are already "getting the same things we're getting for speaking the truth about marriage," from school classmates.
Angelina said they "teach our children not to discriminate and to love others," even while having different understandings of the world
Jack Anderson from Baltimore, Md., told CNA that he came because of the unique pressure surrounding this issue.
"I don't know any other word that's being re-defined," he said. "It's a religious term. It's one of the sacraments."
Elloise Dessaussoure of South Carolina said that she hoped that the wide participation in the March for Marriage would "send a signal that we may have differences" but ultimately, in the cause of defending marriage, that the "foundation is love."