‘March for marriage’ swells in size, marked by diversity

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WASHINGTON — What may have been the most diverse gathering of activists ever in Washington, D.C., gathered Saturday to “March for Marriage.”

March for Marriage participants on March 26, 2013. An estimated 10,000 took part in this year's even. / Addie Mena / CNA.

March for Marriage participants on March 26, 2013. An estimated 10,000 took part in this year’s even. / Addie Mena / CNA.

While the rainbow is often used as a symbol of diversity for the Gay Rights Movement, an impressive array of racial and ethnic backgrounds were evident among those united to defend marriage.

Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, one of the sponsors of the March for Marriage, … was particularly struck by the racial and ethnic diversity at the event. “The thing that impresses me about this event, this is easily the most diverse rally I’ve ever seen. Every race, color and cultural background are united together for marriage,” he said.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which organized the event, [said] he was “overwhelmed” by the turnout, which he estimated to be twice as large as last year’s March for Marriage. The Capitol police seemed overwhelmed as well. The police did not close off First Street, … but eventually acknowledged defeat and closed First Street. . . .

The day before the event, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of a bakery in Oregon, learned they will be fined $135,000 for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Jennifer Marshall, vice president for the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, mentioned the Kleins in her remarks, along with Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who was fined for refusing a same-sex wedding, and Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired for his views about marriage. “Standing for marriage comes with a cost,” she said.


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