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March for Marriage Draws Thousands to DC

march for marriageThe second annual March for Marriage brought more than 150 busloads of traditional marriage supporters to Washington DC yesterday to show the government that the debate over marriage is far from over in the U.S.

"Whoever said the marriage debate was over must not have been anywhere near the U.S. Capitol this morning," said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council. "After months of hearing the courts’ opinion on marriage, today America heard from the voters those courts trampled."

Perkins reports that thousands of people were bussed into DC for the march and assembled on the lawn in front of the Capitol to hear speeches from pro-family groups such as the National Organization for Marriage and the FRC, along with state, church, and cultural leaders.

Speakers included Senator Rick Santorum and Governor Mike Huckabee, but the big name was San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone who made headlines this week after refusing to cower to demands by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) and other liberal leaders who demanded that he refrain from attending a march they characterized as "venom masquerading as virtue".

During his speech, Archbishop Cordileone, who heads the U.S. bishops subcommittee for the promotion and defense of marriage, told the crowd that Pope Francis supported "what we are doing today".

He fearlessly proclaimed that marriage being the union of one man and one woman “is a foundational truth, and one to which we must witness by lives lived in conformity to it, and which we must proclaim with love.”

The crowds were comprised of people of all ethnic backgrounds and ages, including Blacks, Hispanics, retirees and youth.

Leanna Baumer of the FRC spoke on behalf of a generation of millennials, people "who’ve borne the brunt of the breakdown of the family."

After telling the story of Zelmyra and Herbert, who recently celebrated 86 years together, Baumer said, “We’re here to remind our lawmakers and fellow citizens that public policy and the law help shape culture just as they reflect culture. We’re here to urge our elected leaders to recognize the truth of marriage in the public realm while we also uphold it in our private lives. As we march for that truth today, let’s also march for marriage back home, knowing that what our world needs to see are more stories like Zelmyra’s and Herbert’s.”

To those lawmakers who accused marchers of coming to Washington out of hostility, hatred or bigotry, Father Shenan J. Boquet,  President, Human Life International sent a personal letter stating that their reasons for gathering were all about love, not hatred.

"We love our fellow citizens, our neighbors, enough to tell them the truth about what marriage is and why it’s important – even though some might find this truth hard to accept," he wrote. "Marriage is not just a marker of social acceptance, and it’s not simply the state-recognized union of any two (or more) people who decide to be together to fulfill their own personal wants and desires. At its core, marriage is the union of a man and woman ordered toward the procreation and education of children. Marriage is something. Marriage means something. Marriage has a purpose. Recognizing this truth and sharing it with others is not an act of disrespect, but an act of love."

He urged recipients of the letter, which included House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to " take some time today and in the coming weeks to reexamine this issue, the reasons we are marching in our nation’s capital today, and how you can make a positive impact in the fight to defend marriage."

Even though gay marriage activists and their supporters in the mainstream media are calling yesterday's march "pathetic" and a "failure", Perkins vowed that "there is no quit in our movement."

"Today, we marched for children who deserve a mom and dad, for the bakers, educators, sportcasters and photographers who deserve to live according to their faith, and for America, which without marriage cannot stand."

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