D.C.’s March for Marriage draws thousands, mostly black and Hispanic
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- It may not be as popular as the decades-old March for Life yet, but the energy at the third annual March for Marriage was undeniable.
With speakers invoking God, religious liberty, and the future of America in both Spanish and English -- translations running throughout -- the mostly Hispanic and black crowd was prepared to make sure the media and the Supreme Court knew the marriage battle isn't over.
Attendance estimates ranged from 5,000 to 10,000. The event was organized by the National Organization for Marriage.
The religious overtones of the event were clear. Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the head of the USCCB's religious freedom committee, said that America should turn from a “new and arbitrary definition of marriage,” and “constraint of opprobrium" should not exist for business owners and others who oppose same-sex relationships.
"There must be room in the public square for the sacrificial love that a mother and a father share with their children," said Lori. He wasn't the only prominent Catholic in attendance. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican's U.S. ambassador, did not speak, but was honored by a mention on the podium.
Notably, San Francisco's Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was not in attendance. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, did attend.
Numerous evangelical leaders called upon America to care for its future by not legally changing the definition of marriage. Pastor Jim Garlow of San Diego, for example, said that the Supreme Court should not "box with God."
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“You mess with the definition of marriage and you burn, you’re toast, you cannot win," he said. "Your arms are too short to box with God. In 50 years they will laugh at you just like they’ll laugh at same-sex marriage.”
New York State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a minister from the Bronx, led an enormous contingent of Latino attendees to the March. He was the only politician to speak, with the focus of the event on the religious beliefs of attendees.
Non-religious speakers included Heritage Foundation Vice President Jennifer Marshall, who spoke on the harms of marriage redefinition to children, and Family Research Council Executive Director Josh Duggar. Duggar noted that being raised in his large family helped provide him with a proper foundation of understanding when it comes to family.
Liberty Counsel's Matt Staver told the crowd, "When an earthly law collides with a higher law, we have no choice but to obey the higher law." Staver also warned that "a re-definition of marriage is a line we will not cross."
The rally, which went from approximately 12:15 Eastern until 1:30 Eastern, was followed by the actual March around the Capitol and past the U.S. Senate. The March ended at the Supreme Court, where participants were met by nearly two dozen homosexual activists.
A marching band from the group Tradition, Family, Property led the March for several blocks.
LifeSiteNews was the official media sponsor of the March, and exclusively partnered with the National Organization for Marriage to livestream the event.