(Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)
The National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit group that advocates for traditional marriage, is expecting tens of thousands of people from across the United States to join their June "March for Marriage" in Washington to "show the world that the marriage debate isn't over."
Christopher Plante, spokesman for NOM, told The Christian Post that the June 19 march is being held in part "to show the world, the media, members of Congress and the Supreme Court that the marriage debate is not over."
"There is a huge groundswell of popular support, popular belief in traditional marriage. And despite what the polls may say, the reality is the majority of Americans believe marriage is between one man and one woman," said Plante.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases regarding the marriage definition debate, Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry.
The Windsor case dealt with the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.
Hollingsworth was in regard to California's Proposition 8, a referendum that added an amendment to the state constitution that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.
On June 26, the Supreme Court struck down a crucial component of DOMA, allowing for federal benefits to extend to same-sex couples in states where gay marriage is legal.
The Court also ruled against Proposition 8, arguing that the pro-proposition appellants lacked standing to appeal a lower court decision against the amendment.
Arguments for the two cases were heard in March. On that first day of oral arguments, NOM and its allies held a March for Marriage rally in support of DOMA and Prop 8.
Both they and their anti-DOMA, anti-Prop 8 counterparts had thousands of supporters in attendance rallying outside the Supreme Court building.
Plante of NOM told CP that the date for this year's March for Marriage is meant to be near the anniversary of the "horrible decisions in the Windsor and Prop 8 cases last year."
"We expect tens of thousands of people to come out. This is a new event. Obviously we had one last year, which was very successful," said Plante.
The March for Marriage is not the only large-scale rally held at the National Mall in remembrance of controversial Supreme Court decisions.
Every January, pro-life groups from across the nation come to Washington for March for Life. Plante himself found comparison between the two marches.
"We are looking to grow this on an annual basis much like the March for Life, and so we expect that we will do more than we did last year," said Plante.
"Life and Marriage are intertwined. The March for Life has been a hugely successful event, and we look to mirror their success and make sure we have an annual event that commemorates the importance and the uniqueness of marriage that becomes visible to our country, to our leaders, to the media," he added.