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Five Reasons to Participate in the March for Marriage


The countdown begins! One week from today – March 26 – is the March for Marriage in Washington DC. Below are five reasons why you should attend. Or, if you can’t make it in person, consider devoting some time to prayer and/or fasting on March 26 for the preservation of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

1. When Pope Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires, he encouraged the Catholic faithful to march for marriage. The year was 2010 and the Argentinean legislature was debating whether or not to redefine marriage. According to Zenit news, then-Cardinal Bergoglio “appealed to parish priests, rectors and chaplains of churches to facilitate the participation of the faithful” in a planned march and demonstration against redefining marriage. The marchers united under the motto “We want a mommy and daddy for our children” and Cardinal Bergoglio encouraged them to keep the tone positive. Read more about Pope Francis’ defense of marriage and family during his time in Buenos Aires.


2. Catholic Social Teaching is clear that marriage and the family are essential to the common good. “The family, the natural community in which human social nature is experienced, makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the good of society” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 213). The family, “born of the intimate communion of life and love founded on the marriage between one man and one woman,” is indeed “the first and vital cell of society” (no. 211). The importance of marriage and the family to the common good is why the Church works tirelessly to enact laws that recognize and support marriage’s authentic meaning as the union of one man and one woman. According to the Compendium, society and state institutions are called “to guarantee and foster the genuine identity of family life and to avoid and fight all that alters or wounds it” (no. 252). (From the March 1 Call to Prayer / Friday Fast reflection.)

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

3. There is a great lineup of speakers. Speakers at the rally following the March (see full schedule here) include Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute; Robert Oscar Lopez, an English professor who has written on the experience of being raised by a mom in a same-sex relationship; Doug Mainwaring, who recently wrote an article about his opposition to marriage redefinition as a man with same-sex attraction; Rev. Bill Owens, Sr., founder and president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors; and more.

Bishop Kevin Rhoades

Bishop Kevin Rhoades

4. The March for Marriage has the support of Catholic bishops. In a February 25 letter sent to all U.S. bishops, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, encouraged participation in the March. The bishops wrote, “The march will be a significant opportunity to promote and defend marriage and the good of our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to stand in solidarity with people of good will. … We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this march.”


5. We are on the cusp of a momentous Supreme Court decision. On March 26, the day of the March for Marriage, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for one of two cases about marriage law currently under its review, Hollingsworth v. Perry (about California’s Proposition 8; read the USCCB brief here). On March 27, the Court will hear oral arguments for the other case, United States v. Windsor (about the federal Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA; read the USCCB brief here). The Court is expected to rule on both cases by the end of June. As explained in a USCCB press release about these cases, “Depending on the Court’s ruling, there could be ramifications for marriage laws throughout the country.” (Keep in mind that currently 41 states do not recognize marriages between two persons of the same sex.) Highlighting the potential scope and severity of the Court’s ruling, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz compared it to the wide-ranging and hotly-contested 1973 ruling that legalized abortion throughout the country, Roe v. Wade.  As Archbishop Kurtz put it in November 2010, “Today is like 1970 for marriage. If, in 1970, you knew that Roe v. Wade were coming in two or three years, what would you have done differently?”

One possible answer to the Archbishop: attend the March for Marriage! Or prayerfully participate from a distance, recognizing, as the bishops do, the importance of prayer, witness, and sacrifice in renewing a culture of marriage.

33 responses to “Five Reasons to Participate in the March for Marriage”

  1. J Dolen says:

    This effort is decades too late, and is misguided. The majority of the Nation favors same-sex marriage, and essentially all of the young adults favor it. If God made someone gay, that person has a right to be in a loving, committed relationship. Yes, a RIGHT. You would be better to march against divorce (or the hateful Ryan budget). Many churches are now actively supporting same-sex marriage. The promotion of this march by the USCCB is disgraceful and immoral.

    • Paul says:

      Morality has no basis in public opinion, so whether or not a majority favors gay marriage is inconsequential. God is the one who decides what is sinful and what is not and when it comes to homosexual acts and the true definition of marriage, God has spoken. If you don’t share this belief, then I would even wonder if you believe in the inerrancy of scripture or its divine inspiration.

    • Aurelia says:

      Yes, all of our ‘rights’ come from our Creator: God the Almighty. We do NOT have the ‘right’ to go against His will. We are obligated to Love God with all of our heart, soul, being & to love our neighbor as our self.
      NOT to love someone else before God. ALL of us are obligated to keep the the respect of marriage b/c God specifically raised it to a sacrament.

      God made each of us with our crosses to bear. If we are not called to the vocation of marriage then we are called to celibacy. a word that NO-ONE, especially straight so-called Christian people seem to understand.

      All, married & single, are called to be chaste; to become holy.

      Let’s be clear on what exactly God defines ‘love’ as.

    • JKD says:

      “Essentially all of the young adults favor it”

      Don’t know where you’re getting your info, but I can tell you almost all of my friends don’t support it. I just turned 25 and live right outside D.C. so….

      And yes–every person has a right to be in a loving, committed relationship. Sometimes, though, that relationship is meant to be with God alone.

      Just because “all these people” say something is so, doesn’t mean it’s true.

    • David says:

      The answer to your wondering is no. I don’t believe in your ancient Hebrew magic sky daddy or the huge work of fiction surrounding the aforementioned mythology of the Stone Age. Nor am I in any way obligated to believe in your silly ghost story.

      • J. Anthony says:

        Once again, David, I will be praying for you. You are the one using offensive terms, such as ” ancient Hebrew magic sky daddy” and “the huge work of fiction.” Please come back when you decide to be rational and debate the points, not be insulting, condescending, and inflammatory.

        In Christ,
        J. Anthony

  2. Marco says:

    Cant we simply leave the gays in peace? I have become embarrassed to tell people I am Catholic because of the endless gaybashing. God help us all.

    • Aurelia says:

      Buy the Catechism of the Catholic Church and teach yourself, a ‘Catholic’ what we are taught on how to treat the individuals who have same sex attraction.

    • lourdes says:

      It’s not about bashing gay people. God loves all — straight, gay or lesbian. However, it is the homosexual act that is the issue here, and the redefinition of marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman is NATURAL LAW…GOD’S LAW!

    • phoenix32 says:

      The Catholic Church does not participate in acts of bigotry or hatred towards a particular group. More to the point, Catholic-bashing is the only acceptable form of hatred left in America. Read the Catechism. And an approved translation of the Bible, which you can easily find at Simply put, we are called to hate only the sin, but to love the sinner regardless. We (Catholics) are not called to hate on homosexuals, or anyone else. No Church official has been approved to “bash gays,” and those that do “gay bash” are wrong.

      If you are embarrassed of Christ here on earth, then He will be embarrassed of you before the Father. Please remember that, because this is His one Holy and Apostolic Church. I will pray for you, as a sibling in Christ, and that you may come to trust in the Lord’s plan for us. God bless you, Marco.

    • JKD says:

      Maybe you should represent the true Catholic understanding of what it means to be gay. If you’re uncomfortable with what Catholicism says about homosexuality, and you’ve actually done your homework on what the Catholic teaching actually is, perhaps you shouldn’t be Catholic anymore…?

      After all, if you’re going to call yourself Catholic, you may as well believe what it is Catholics believe. If you don’t believe what Catholics do, why bother calling yourself a Catholic at all?

    • alma says:

      do not be embarrassed to tell that you are Catholic. God gave gave us the right path and gave us choices…We should love our gay friends , but that does not mean we agree with them..they have the choice to make. We should not judged them..just show them the way and they and only them can make the choice.

  3. Dennis says:

    The Church does not condone “gay bashing” nor does it “hate” gays. It is simply stating that The Church should has the RIGHT to teach that marriage is between a man and woman.

    The law states that ANY man may marry ANY woman. It does not make distinctions between sexual orientation.

    And if the “majority” of people are in favor of marriage “equality” why not legalize plural marriage as defined by the Mormon Church. Why not also legalize incest if both adults are of consenting age. Take Woody Allen for example, who illegally married his step daughter

    • David says:

      Uh……because the other examples you have involve a victim or severe congenital diseases, where, conversely, two unrelated people of the same sex are consenting adults.

      Can you seriously not make your brain understand this?

  4. Jacqueline says:

    Item #7, “State Level” of “The 1972 Gay Rights Platform” states: “Repeal all laws governing sexual consent.” If carried out, this would essentially leave children totally unprotected from sexual predators,abusers, and the like. And even their parents and the authorities would be helpless to protect them. It’s about way more than being gay and in love. This is just a sample of what this issue will lead to, and it is not ok. It is dangerous, and their agenda has already been carried out at some levels. More information can easily be found by searching this the term “1972 gay rights platform.” You’ll may be surprised at what you’ll learn. All the more reason to “March For Marriage.”

    • David says:

      Excuse me, but were did you fall into a coma in 2972 and just wake up? The current year is 2013. A lot has changed.

  5. Etaoin Shrdlu says:

    Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
    –Oscar Wilde

  6. Margarita says:

    These are great reasons to promote traditional marraige!!! Yay Traditional Marraige!!!

  7. Erick C says:

    “Ideals,” says G.K. Chesterton, “are the most practical thing in the world.” This is why we still defend the family. This is why we insist on the ideal of marriage as a permanent union between one man and one woman, which creates the only proper setting for bringing new souls into the world, and that this purely natural act should not be interfered with.
    Writing by Dale Ahlquist, not me.

    • David says:

      Did you know that 100% of adopted babies were ditched by the heterosexual man/woman combo that carelessly made them. 100%. Irresponsible heterosexual sex is the only way gay couples can adopt a kid they have zero prior knowledge to.

      Heteos aren’t better than homos just because they can fertilize an egg. You can play chicken little all you want, bu I hate to burst your bubble-you’re not special because you’re hetero and could make a kid. My homo sperm could fertilize a homo female’s egg in a test tube, exactly like what heterosexuals do. ZERO DIFFERENCE! So quit babbling on about making babies.

      • J. Anthony says:

        David… Sperm is neither “hetero” nor “homo.” And of course your “homo” sperm can fertilize an egg… It is the function of sperm.

        That being said, it seems that the only hate and bigotry here is coming from you. I pray that you find the peace in your life that you need.

        In Christ,
        J. Anthony

  8. Terence M. Stanton says:


    There is no such thing as same-sex “marriage” just as there is no such thing as round “squares”. Squares are not round and marriage cannot take place between two people of the same gender. All fifty state legislatures, congress and the supreme court could say otherwise but it would not matter. Marriage is inherently heterosexual. We are only creating a legal fiction in this country with same-sex “marriage”. We have millions of people who are pretending (and forcing others to do the same via government tyranny)that marriage is something other than the union of one man and one woman. This is the bitter fruit of accepting contraception. We murder babies in the womb and call it a “right”. Now we engage in make-believe so that two people of the same gender can “marry” each other. This does nothing but empty marriage of its meaning just like no-fault divorce laws.

    People with a same-sex attraction are called to what everyone else is called: chastity. The Courage Apostolate ought to be promoted in every diocese in the country. Men and women with a same-sex attraction need to be loved and they need to be told the truth about human sexuality. Furthermore, folks with SSA have found not only healing but diminished their unwanted attractions through the wonderful work of professionals like Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. God has a wonderful plan for everyone’s life and it most definitely does not involve sinful behavior.

  9. […] via Five Reasons to Participate in the March for Marriage | Marriage Unique for a Reason. […]

  10. John says:

    Finally glad to see that USCCB is standing up for Biblical Marriage. Anti-Marriage laws are creeping into states such as Maryland whose elected officials used manipulative tactics to ram thru this immoral law and then further confused the voting public with a mis-leading referendum ballot. But this same sex “mirage”comes from the father of lies so that is to be expected.

  11. Gary says:

    Marriage seems to be primarily an institution that safeguards children. While there are exceptions where a traditional marriage does NOT produce children, or where a traditional mom&dad couple adopt a child of other parents, the children in general KNOW who their Mom and Dad are, and this is unambiguous and affirms the identify of each child.

    With so-called same sex unions, any desire to have children necessarily involved a 3rd party, whether a sperm donor or a surrogate mother, there always needs to be someone else involved, and there is NO PHYSICAL WAY that the couple can each participate in the creation of a single child. This is in a weird way institutionalizing the same anxiety between Sarah & Hagar!

    Extending ‘Marriage’ to gays so they just don’t feel left out or don’t have ability to convey inheritance is nothing but the systematic marginalization of children. Same-sex unions with certain legal and health-determination rights are fine with me, but tamper with what uniquely gives individual children their sense of identity is dangerous culturally, and will have unintended consequences. Perhaps proponents of so-called same sex marriage actually have intentions to eliminate the sense of family that many of us have.

    This would be bad policy, and the rhetoric which makes proponents of traditional marriage appear like bigots is offensive. The real victims will be kids, as usual, as God’s intended laws are torn down.

    • Judy says:

      Is it gay-bashing to say that God has ordained Marriage to be between a man and a woman? He has even elevated it to the Sacrament of Matrimony!!! Thank God for your Catholic faith!

      Terence, Bravo!!!

    • David says:

      An there we have the rationalizing verbose chicken little. Dress bigotry up in a suit and its more acceptable. NOT!!!!!! I’m going to get SOOOO much pleasure watching you guys get to excited about believing scotus will rule in your favor and then fall so hard when it doesn’t.

  12. David Graf says:

    Rest assured I am praying for our cause on the 26th. God has already decided that “marriage” is a Sacrament–the bonding of one man and one woman, so really, there is nothing to vote on…NOTHING. Let those who choose to do so, live together, or commit their lives to one another…in a CIVIL ceremony. Let them alone. But today’s “liberal” and morally-weak society has taken it upon themselves to attempt to “redefine” marriage. God has spoken! You don’t redefine what God has said; I don’t care what “they” decide on the 26th–because WE know what can (and definitely) be. It is such a shame that in this wonderful edition there are so many positive, joyful and hopeful articles about our new Pope and the Church’s future….that such a piece as the above share our pages with unbiblical garbage like this. We are praying that “normal”, God-fearing heads will strike down this proposal that comes from the Evil One! God be with us!

  13. Terry Lafferty says:

    I will be prayerfully supporting the march from Yankton, SD.

  14. Karen says:

    First of all there can’t be a marriage between same sex people. I don’t care what our laws call it. It is fornacation.
    Marriage is ordained by God. I believe the bible and it states it is fornacation.
    Our law has legalized abortion calling it pro-choice but it is still murder.
    Our gov. has legalized murder.
    If a person kills their baby once it is out of the womb it is murder but if a doctor puts a scalpel into the brain before it is out of the womb in late term abortion it is then not murder.
    Same sex union or even sex out of marriage or adultry is fornacation so our gov. should just allow the same financial, and insurance laws to be given to those who choose to fornicate.

    Instead some people want to change what God has ordained. God help their souls.

    We are called to love everyone and not be their judge.
    How can you love without truth?
    How can I practice what I believe if I am not honest or forthright in my Christian belief?? I do not love if I hold back what “I” believe in truth does not make me judgmental. Truth is love.

    My concern is religious freedom and the soul of those who believe the above is o.k.. It goes against what God ordained and what our Christian Catholic Faith teaches and the teaching came from God. If you don’t believe this or in God it is all your business……but if legalized what is going to happen to our Priest’s if they will not perform the sacrament of marriage for them? (which is against “our” belief) Here we are again facing a religious freedom issue. With the Obamacare we Catholic’s are now facing a law (HHS Mandate) I actually call it a “dictate” which will take away our religious freedom. Do you even know what the HHS Mandate is? Our gov. is attacking my faith. Is this right? Are you aware of the law suits against our gov. regarding religious freedom? Do you care about our constitution which has made our country the greatest country? If you don’t like our country then if I were you I would move to another country.
    Everyone has the freedom of conscience. This freedom can hurt everyone. If your freedom allows you to steal this hurts me. It affect prices I pay at stores. If you choose to kill it affects the people close to the person you killed.
    I don’t use the word Gay. Rather I would call it unnatural. If there were religious freedom clauses in Obamacare’s plan I would be feeling somewhat safer with his liberal agenda. He verbally says that our Catholic Christian religious freedom is protected but in fact there is no protection for Christian belief. If there was protection for what we believe we wouldn’t have to be suing our gov. Do all of you who believe in secular humanism actually know that our Catholic Christian faith is being attacked?? Do you care about those of us who are working toward a life with God in eternity??
    Please don’t call me judgmental. God will be your judge. I pray for all of you because my belief has me concerned for your soul and out of love and my belief I pray for you. We Christians are to love everyone but that doesn’t mean we can participate in what our belief goes against. Legalizing things that we Christians do not believe in will cause us to be fined or put into prison or even martyred if we go against the legal laws. Is this right?
    I love my children but I will always work toward guiding them in our faith and guiding them away from sin which is my responsibility under God. Hopefully you can see the difference between the definition of the word judgmental and love. If my child decides to steal or kill and I teach them this is wrong is that being judgmental or is this loving them??
    I love and have true compassion for all people. I have compassion for the person who goes into a school and kills children. I wonder what happened in their life to make them able to commit such a crime. This is the choice that person makes. Does it make it right??
    I could go on and on but instead I will close with this.
    I pray for our country. I am anxiously waiting for the 2nd coming of our Lord but I pray for God to not come too soon because there will be a lot of people who will not receive eternal life. If I don’t do what God calls me to do I will be one of those people. I struggle with temptation which is not a sin. It is a sin when I act on the temptation that Satan tempts me with. He knows our weakness.
    I pray that the definition of marriage will not be changed. I pray that our gov. will give the same financial benefits to all people who decide to live together.
    Living together and sex outside of marriage is fornication. Taking something that isn’t yours is stealing. Taking someone’s life is murder. I believe in calling things what they really are.
    This is “my” choice to live “my” life according to what “I” believe.
    Under our current gov. my belief and living according to my belief may make me a martyr. Thanks be to God!!

    • Karen says:

      P.S. This is Karen again.
      I want to say that the bible says we will be persecuted for our faith.
      Thanks be to God that I am a Roman Catholic as our church instituted by Jesus (God) has been the most persecuted church in history.

      If I were not Catholic I would think I was in the wrong church because ours is the most persecuted.
      We are persecuted in the media, films, government and in my own Catholic church by those who call themselves Catholic but do not believe in “all” of our teachings. They are the ones that give Christian Catholic’s the reputation that we are not Christian.
      Thank you God for the persecution because I know I am in the right church.

  15. Laura says:

    I completely understand the point of view of the church. Was raised Catholic, I am still Catholic, got married at my church, and I now have a beautiful baby that I am raising as such. However, the current issue is not about religion. It is about legal rights for any couple entering into a legal civil union…even us married Catholics are in a legal civil union with our heterosexual spouses (we all went to court to get a license). However my civil union with my husband is recognized by the state and government and I am able to receive all the rights and benefits aforded to married couples. Even heterosexual couples who never conceived or adopted are afforded legal rights, but gays are left out. The current issue has nothing to do with religion it is purely about legal rights. It will not change the way the church defines marriage. My legal union at court and my wedding under God at my church are two separate events officiated by two separate entities. There is supposed to be a separation of church and state in this country that I believe many fail to uphold.

  16. […] Marriage Unique for a Reason blog run by the U.S. Catholic Bishops gives five reasons Catholics should support the March for Marriage — here's the first […]

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