By: Dan Bartkowiak
“What a great day!”
That was the repeated response from numerous friends on our bus from Lancaster to our nation’s capital for the March for Marriage. 50 supporters made the trip early Tuesday morning, March 26th to join what ended up as thousands of supporters for protecting marriage as the union of husband and wife.
Our group got off the bus in DC just as the march to the Supreme Court steps was starting. As soon as I got off the bus and walked over to join in, surrounding me were families with t-shirts that had Chinese printed on the front and on the back said, “Marriage = 1 man and 1 woman.” I learned that many of them came all the way from Chicago!
I was frankly surprise at the range of people in attendance. As Michael Geer, President of PFI said,
“What is especially noteworthy to me is the wide diversity of the crowd that has come here to march in support of marriage between a man and a woman. Children, babies, old folks, all in-between. And then people representing all kinds of ethnic backgrounds: Asians, Hispanics, African Americans. And various faith backgrounds – Pastors, Protestants, Catholics – a wide spectrum of people here standing up for the union of one man and one woman.”
The overall spoken message from marchers and speakers throughout the day was this: every child needs and deserves a mom and dad. It was not a message of hate or name-calling or targeting those in a same-sex lifestyle – as it should be. It was pointing to the importance of a child being raised by their mother and father.
As we marched, you could hear the chants of “One Man, One Woman” & “One Mom, One Dad!” One marcher carried a French flag – fitting because our march is on the heels of 300,000 to 1.4 million Frenchmen marching in Paris on Sunday in support of defending marriage between husband and wife.
We continued to march up Constitution Avenue. The chanting grew louder as we approached the high pillars of the Supreme Court building. You could hear the drums and bagpipes – led by members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property – playing “God Bless America.” We were also greeted at the Supreme Court by a group that opposed our efforts and would rather redefine marriage.
Marriage marchers then made their way back to the National Mall where the march began. Before heading back, I overheard a reporter from NPR on his cell phone tell someone that he didn’t have a scientific way to estimate but by his account looking around there was a larger contingency of supporters for same-sex marriage. Mind you – this was looking around after most of those involved with our march had headed back to the rally location.
After he was off his phone, I asked him about it and found out that he was unaware of the thousands of people that were attending the rally back on the National Mall. He told me he had not written any reporting yet on the issue and would head over to the rally (which he did). He also asked for a quick interview.
I headed back to the rally point and arrived when the San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was on stage. He reiterated the emphasis of children needing a mom and a dad.
The rally continued with a variety of speakers mixed in with some music and updates. The list of speakers was diverse (click here for that list). Some of the loudest cheers came from a few young women voicing the support they know is there from their generation – especially witnessing the impact family experimentation has had already. Also, a great message was one brought on video by an 11-year old girl who gave a short testimony about her mom and dad at a recent Senate hearing – specifically asking the Senators, “Which parent do I not need?”
From my standpoint, the march and rally were organized quite well and the turnout was encouraging. A big thanks to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and supporting organizations that helped put it all together. Also, thanks for the 20-30 volunteers who helped NOM on the ground throughout the march and rally.
Various reporters were present getting their take on the march and spoke various languages. Michael Geer made several interviews, such as the one below with a reporter from Sirius XM Radio:
All in all – it was a great day. We especially wish to thank those from Pennsylvania who made the trip down to the march. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia coordinated 6 buses leaving from various locations. The Altoona Alliance Church had a bus leave in the morning as well as one from Reading. Members of the Church of Saint Andrew stood proudly throughout the rally, as seen below. And thanks to all the members from our bus from Lancaster.
We now encourage our friends and neighbors throughout Pennsylvania to spend time praying for marriage – for those defending marriage in the US Supreme Court and for the Supreme Court justices.
To listen to Michael Geer offer a 10-minute recap from the National Mall in DC, click here.