As the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in cases involving the freedom of states to make marriage policy, thousands gathered Saturday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the third annual March for Marriage.
The event’s largest crowd to date called on the Court to respect the voice of the American people, urging the justices not to impose a redefinition of marriage on the entire country.
More than 50 million Americans have voted for laws affirming the definition of marriage as one man and one woman (representing more than 60 percent of those voting on the matter). But courts have not respected the constitutional authority of the American people and our elected representatives to make marriage policy.
Only 11 states have redefined marriage democratically. In the 37 states that currently recognize same-sex marriage, 26 have been forced to do so by courts.
The diverse crowd from across the nation at the March for Marriage made its voice heard loud and clear this weekend. Now the action moves to the Supreme Court, as it considers whether the American people will be free to make marriage policy recognizing marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Here’s a clip of my remarks to the marchers gathered on Saturday, and the full text:
Some of you came a long way to stand for marriage here in our nation’s capital—from as far as California and Michigan and South Carolina. Many of you made sacrifices to be here.
You know that standing for marriage can come with a cost.
Aaron and Melissa Klein know it too. Just yesterday Aaron and Melissa learned that for them, the cost of standing for marriage may add up to $135,000 in fines.
Why? Simply because they declined to create a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. And that fine is on top of having already lost their bakery because of the backlash against their decision to stand by their convictions.
For Barronelle Stutzman, a 70-year-old grandmother in Washington state, the cost of standing for marriage may be the loss of everything she owns. She’s being sued personally and professionally for declining to design the floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.
For Kelvin Cochran, the cost of standing for marriage was the loss of his job as the fire chief of the city of Atlanta.
This is not right. And your presence here today tells our nation’s leaders that it is not right.
Marriage existed before this government, and before any government. Marriage brings together the two halves of humanity, for the future of humanity.
No Court can undo that.
Millions of Americans in dozens of states voted to have their laws reflect the reality that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
The Supreme Court should not disregard their votes.
We, the people, should be free to make marriage policy.
The Supreme Court should not take that freedom away.
Thank you for coming to Washington to make your voices heard!