Busloads of people from across the country descended onto the Mall on Saturday to voice opposition to same-sex marriage. This week, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on whether state restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.
“Children don’t need experiments,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “They need the love of their mother and father, wherever possible.”
The crowd was overwhelmingly Latino, many rallying behind New York state Sen. Rubén Díaz Sr. (D), a Bronx minister, who rallied the crowd in Spanish. Several held Catholic red banners and March for Marriage signs printed in English and Spanish.
The crowd chanted a Spanish phrase that roughly translates to “Without God, the country is going down.”
Dulce Nuñez said she was supposed to work Saturday at a hotel in Manhattan but decided to instead come to Washington on her church’s bus. “The courts have no right to change what God made,” said Nuñez, 39. “We fight for children.”
The crowd walked behind a Catholic marching band up the Mall to the Supreme Court. Once they arrived at the Supreme Court Plaza, several knelt to pray.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rick Santorum, a former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, wanted to send videos to the rally, but National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown said organizers chose to focus the event on religious leaders. He noted that several Republican presidential candidates were in Iowa on Saturday for a Faith and Freedom Coalition rally.
“People can no longer say there’s no strong opposition to same-sex marriage,” Brown said, claiming that 7,000 people were bused in. And #March4Marriage became a national trending topic on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
Brown said whichever way the court decides, Americans will be split, and proponents of same-sex marriage should not necessarily expect to win.
“They think that they’ve won, but they thought they won Prop. 8, too,” he said, noting California’s vote to make marriage between a man and a woman.