The fading “defense of (traditional) marriage” movement

Many of the people who turned out for the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) second annual “March For Marriage” rally yesterday in front of the U.S. Capitol rally cited religious reasons for their presence.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) hosted its second annual “March For Marriage” Thursday in front of the U.S. Capitol, a rally with speakers opposing same-sex marriage followed by a march to the Supreme Court. An estimated 2,000 people participated, many of whom had traveled by bus from New Jersey and New York City. After last year’s march, which was held in conjunction with the Supreme Court hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act, NOM attempted to inflate the numbers, but this year’s crowd was smaller than even the most conservative estimates from last year.

Both on the dais and in the crowd, religious beliefs were the driving force behind attendees’s opposition to same-sex marriage. ThinkProgress spoke with several members of the crowd to get a sense of why they were participating, and most cited their religious beliefs as their primary motivation. In particular, many were religious leaders themselves or specifically came to the march with a church group.


J. Bryan Lowder at says that the main emotion present at the rally was grief:

Four of the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, and depression—were on full display today at the March for Marriage, a rally outside the U.S. Capitol organized by the National Organization for Marriage and other co-sponsors. NOM President Brian Brown had promised attendees the chance to be a part of “showing that there still exists in this country deep and wide support for the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” but, judging by photos of the event that revealed a shallow and thin crowd that seemed to gradually disperse as the two and a half hours of repetitive speeches wore on, the rally may have shown just the opposite….

…Denial was the strongest of the stages being worked through at the rally, with a number of speakers joining Frank Schubert, NOM’s national political director, in cautioning that the overwhelming progress we’ve seen in recent years on marriage equality—especially since last year’s Windsor decision—has really been the result of unfair “judicial activism” and media spin and, as such, is not representative of the feelings of real Americans.

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