Marriage by God’s design is the union of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:18)
Yesterday (June 19th) was the second annual March for Marriage. Organized by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the event served as a platform for Americans to make their voices heard on behalf of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The number of people who gathered in front of the Supreme Court was in the “thousands,” according to Jennifer Marshall at The Heritage Foundation.
You may remember that Proposition 8 was passed in 2008, with over 7 million votes (52%), to amend California’s State Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It was the second time Californians had voted to preserve the definition of marriage. Despite this, the US Supreme Court upheld a subsequent legal challenge at the state level that invalidated the outcome of the vote.
Most news coverage about the NOM event and traditional marriage has been negative. It’s popular to claim that those who support the March for Marriage are on the “wrong side of history.” Yet, despite court rulings, the debate is not over. The issue is not settled.
Taking a long view of history, The Heritage Foundation believes America and Western civilization will self-correct on marriage over time. Support for this position comes from the experiences of the early pro-life movement — a beleaguered, criticized few — that shed light on how to navigate political and cultural forces that wanted to shut down debate.
It should be remembered that the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade convinced cultural elites that the abortion debate was settled. Yet 40 years later the debate continues and the pro-life movement has made considerable gains in reviving a culture of life. A recent CNN poll in 2014 reveals that 20% believe abortion should always be illegal and 38% believe that most abortions should be illegal — 58% of Americans oppose all or virtually all abortions. The pro-life side has turned the tide in key areas of this struggle.
The bottom line is to remember there’s no such thing as being on the “right” or “wrong” side of history. There’s only being on the right or wrong side of truth.
David Boies and Theodore Olson are attorneys who have fought against the overturning of the California vote. In their book, Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality, they offer a balanced historical perspective.