The Obergefell v. Hodges case comes before the U.S.
Supreme Court involving appeals of 4 same-sex marriage
from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.
Part 19: 2015-APR:
The "March for Marriage" in Washington is held
three days before the U.S. Supreme Court holds
hearings in the SSM case "Obergefel v. Hodges"
We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage."
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
This topic is continued from the previous essay which
two briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court
to marriage equality.
2015-APR-25: The "March for Marriage" is held in Washington:
On Saturday, APR-25, thousands of people who oppose marriage equality gathered at the Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol building. Others who favor marriage equality staged a peaceful counter-demonstration nearby.
This is the latest of the annual marches sponsored in recent years by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). NOM is a national non-profit group whose sole goal is to prevent any same-sex couple from marrying in the United States. NOM described the event as a "March for freedom; march for truth; march for marriage." However, as is so common among religious and social conservatives, the "freedom" to which they refer is actually the "freedom to discriminate" -- in this case, against sexual minorities. It is the freedom to prohibit access to marriage by loving, committed same-sex couples.
Commonly displayed slogans at the march were:
- "To stand for God's truth: one man/one woman."
- "Every child deserves a mother and father."
Aaron Morrison, writing for the International Business Times said:
"NOM spokesman Paul Bothwell, who [sic] estimated the crowd at approximately 10,000. A dispatcher for the U.S. Capitol Police said officials were not releasing crowd size estimates to the public. Social media photos suggested attendance may have been decidedly lower than Bothwell's estimate." 9
The march received the endorsement of two leading bishops of the Roman Catholic Church: Bishop Richard Malone chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chair of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. They invited fellow Catholics to attend the march.
The bishops issued a joint statement saying,
"The March will be an opportunity to stand for the good of marriage in our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to demonstrate our commitment to the well-being of children. It complements well the bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty. The anticipated decision of the Supreme Court positions itself to be the most important judicial ruling in our nation since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion. The March is an important witness to a movement dedicated to building a culture of marriage and the family, and it serves to remind all people that a Supreme Court ruling will not decide the issue of marriage any more than Roe decided the issue of abortion. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this March." 10
Speakers addressed the crowd from Noon until 1 PM. The march then began going North on Third Street, East on Constitution Avenue, and South on First Street NE to the front of the U.S. Supreme Court building.
For those who were unable to attend the march, NOM arranged a "Virtual March for Marriage." They asked that supporters sign a petition titled:
"I support the March for Marriage."
"WHEREAS, the institution of marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman has been a primary building block for every successful society in recorded human history, a shared institution across all continents, cultures, races, and religions;
WHEREAS, research shows that married people are happier, healthier and less of a burden on society, and that it is vitally important for children to have both a mother and a father present in their lives;
WHEREAS, traditional marriage has been overwhelmingly upheld by 50 million voters at the ballot box;
WHEREAS, we have witnessed an avalanche of retributive actions taken upon those who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman in places where marriage has already been redefined;
WHEREAS, activist federal judges have improperly overturned state marriage laws and imposed a genderless version of “marriage” in contravention of the wishes of state voters;
THEREFORE, I am steadfastly resolved to resist any attempt to redefine marriage; to roll back laws redefining marriage wherever they have been enacted; and to defend the religious liberties of citizens in places where marriage has already been redefined.
I support the March for Marriage on April 25, 2015 and will do my part to encourage others to do the same."
The "virtual march" contains many commonly expressed beliefs and actions found mainly in statements by religious and social conservatives:
- The event is called a "march for marriage." In reality, it is a march against marriage by loving, committed same-sex couples who seek equality.
- Their statement about the history of opposite-sex marriages ignoring polygamous marriages which are widely discussed in the Bible and practiced by many Muslims today.
- Many marchers held signs stating that children thrive better with a mother and father than with two mothers or two fathers. This appears to do be self-evident to many conservatives. It was one of the conclusions of the widely promoted Regnerus study at the University of Texas. However, that finding is statistically meaningless because it was based on the outcomes of only two children. The world's first large, statistically significant study shows that children, on average, raised in families headed by same-sex couples fared equally well or slightly better than those in families headed by opposite-sex couples.
- Many of the she state constitutional amendments that banned same-sex marriage were ratified in 2004 when support for marriage equality was only 40% and opposition was at about 55%. The latest polling results show that support for same-sex marriage is in excess of 60% and rapidly growing.
- There have been perhaps a dozen recent human rights complaints initiated by same-sex couples against bakeries, wedding photographers, and other for-profit companies in the wedding industry. But these were not in response to the retail companies' owners' beliefs in marriage. It was in response to companies refusing to provide goods and services to customers as required by state and city human rights laws and ordinances and as required by the Golden Rule which calls on the owners to treat their customers as they would wish others to do onto them.
- Many dozens of state and federal judges, some appointed by Republican presidents and others by Democratic presidents, have issued rulings on marriage. The vast majority have agreed that the marriage bans are unconstitutional because they violate the clear wording of the Due Process and/or Equal Protection clauses in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It is not just a few "activist judges" responding in this way.
- Same-sex marriages are not "genderless marriages." Spouses in both same-sex and opposite-sex marriages have a gender.
- Religious liberty has been traditionally defined in terms of freedom of belief, freedom of assembly, freedom of proseltizing, etc. Such freedoms are still protected and enjoyed. What has been experienced by a dozen or so owners of retail outlets are restrictions on their freedom to use religious beliefs to discriminate against the LGBT community.
As of MAR-01, 15,619 people have signed the petition.
This topic continues in the next essay with a discussion of the
hearing by the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court on 2015-APR-28.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Parents Friends of ExGays amicus brief," Scribd, at: http://www.scribd.com/
- Zack Ford, "Ten Novel, Absurd, And Irrelevant Arguments Made In Supreme Court Briefs Against Marriage Equality," Think Progress, 2015-APR-17, at: http://thinkprogress.org/
- Alex Anderson, "Marriage Debate Marches Into Nation’s Capital Ahead of Supreme Court Case," The Daily Signal, 2015-APR-25, at: http://dailysignal.com/
- "Same-Sex Attracted Men and Their Wives Amicus Brief," Scribd, at: http://www.scribd.com/
- "Robert Oscar Lopez and BN Klein Amicus Brief," Scribd, at: http://www.scribd.com/
- Adam Liptak, "Gay Marriage Arguments Divide Supreme Court Justices," The New York Times, 2015-APR-28, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
- Adam Liptak, "Gender Bias Issue Could Tip Chief Justice Roberts Into Ruling for Gay Marriage," The New York Times, 2015-APR-29, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
- "Making the rounds: Bishops endorse the March for Marriage, NOM, 2015-APR-15, at: https://www.marriagemarch.org/
- Aaron Morrison, "March For Marriage 2015: Organizers Say 10,000 Turned Out For Anti-Gay-Marriage Demonstration," International Business Times, 2015-APR-25, at: http://www.ibtimes.com/
- "Making the Rounds: Bishops Endorse the March for Marriage," Marriage March, 2015-APR-15, at: https://www.marriagemarch.org/
How you may have arrived here:
Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-APR-28
Latest update: 2015-MAY-01
Author: B.A. Robinson