BY CATHERINE TROLL
A crowd of five to ten thousand people gathered in Washington, D.C. to attend the March for Marriage on March 26, the first day of oral arguments in the Supreme Court concerning the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.
According to EWTN News, Hollingsworth v. Perry is a challenge against California’s Proposition 8, which recognizes marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman. It is one of two same-sex marriage cases the court will be debating this year. The other case was argued on March 27 and is a challenge against the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as solely between one man and one woman.
Love Revealed coordinated the group of Franciscan students who attended the March for Marriage. According to Amanda Brennan of Love Revealed, a group of 45 people went with the school. This group included students as well as John Bergsma, theology professor at Franciscan and four sisters from the Order of the Franciscans of the Martyr St. George.
“The ultimate goal of the March for Marriage was to stand up for traditional marriage for it is the foundation of society,” Brennan said. “The marital covenant between one man and one woman, which was instituted by God from the beginning, must always be safeguarded for it is where man, woman and child thrive and discover their true potentiality as persons. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI put so well in a homily on June 3, 2012, ‘God created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life.'”
EWTN News reported that at 8:30 a.m., the marchers gathered at the National Mall and headed to the Supreme Court Building, where a rally commenced at 11 a.m. Speakers at the rally included Archbishop Cordileone, head of the U.S. bishops’ subcommittee on the defense of marriage; Bill Owens, Sr., founder of Coalition of African-American Pastors; Jennifer Marshall, of the Heritage Foundation; and Eric Teetsel, founder of the Manhattan Declaration.
The thousands of people marching for marriage were met by significant opposition, though it was a peaceful protest.
Samantha Hennerty, a Franciscan student who attended the march, said: “The event was very different from the March for Life. There was a large amount of opposition, which caused it to be less peaceful. I think that at least the marchers from Franciscan surprised the opposition by sending them a message of love, but unfortunately I don’t think that message was portrayed by the majority of the marchers. I was surprised at the large turnout of people for traditional marriage though, and I hope it impacts the government in that they may realize how many citizens truly want to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.”
Mark Ternus, another Franciscan student who attended, was of a similar opinion.
“The main thing I took from the March is that the people on the other side of the issue seemed to feel like we don’t love them,” said Ternus. “They are so accustomed to resent that, and what we really need to do is love them. Only through love can we accomplish our goal.”