A group of Americans chanting “one woman, one man” gathered on Thursday in Washington D.C., for a rally in opposition to gay marriage.
During his speech to the “March for Marriage” crowd, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) urged every man in America to “stand up” and wed “your woman.”
“[Married women are] desperately looking for a husband. They’re desperately looking for a father,” said Huelskamp, who has introduced a constitutional amendment in the House that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. “Be a real man of God because this is about you. Marriage is about you and your wife and your children.”
The rally began in the morning outside of the U.S. Capitol. The National Organization for Marriage hosted the event, uniting followers who believe every child needs a father and a mother, not two homosexual parents. Speakers included former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both Republicans. Followers ended the event by marching to the Supreme Court of the United States in the afternoon.
“This is a movement based in love, for what’s best for children and families in America,” Santorum said during his speech. “It’s important for us to first reclaim the institution of marriage. That is on us.”
The march appears to be out of step with U.S. public opinion. Americans’ views about same-sex marriage continue to change rapidly. In just five years, the percentage of adults who oppose gay weddings has fallen from 54% to 39%, according to the Pew Research Center. Resistance to the issue has come primarily from white evangelical Protestants.
The rally occurred a week before the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, 2013. Marriage equality was introduced to nine states and federal judges have struck down same-sex marriage bans in seven states in the past year. Those motions currently are pending appeal and each remaining prohibition has been countered with a legal challenge.
White House officials met with gay rights activists on the same day as the march to discuss implementing plans for banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. President Barack Obama earlier this week made public his plans to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.