Throughout the weekend, Monday and early Tuesday morning, the sidewalk and lawn in front of the U.S. Supreme Court was dominated by those in favor of same-sex marriage. Rainbow flags, equality signs and the color red was splashed about.
But just before 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, the crowd became more diverse as the anti-gay marriage march, organized by the National Organization for Marriage, began to barrel up Constitution Avenue toward the court.
“One man, one woman,” chanted the NOM marchers.
Victorino and his wife, Mary, declined to give their last name, but said they traveled from Guatemala to participate in the march.
A group of eight 13- and 14-year-olds from southern California couldn’t believe their eyes as the NOM marchers passed the front of the court with gay equality activists lining the street.
“It’s pretty scary,” one young girl said. “Because these people are kind of going around.”
“There’s one crazy guy dancing around in a pink dress,” one of the boys said.
“There might be fights happening,” another girl said.
When we asked if they had ever seen anything like this, they responded, “No!” in the unison of school children. When we asked if this is what they thought democracy looked like, they shook their heads.
“[I] didn’t think it would be like this,” the first girl said. “I didn’t think I would be seeing cuss words all over signs.”
The group agreed, again in unison, that the moment felt historic, important, special. The chaperones forbid the kids to give their names.
Meanwhile, back inside the NOM march, the protesters stopped and knelt in unison just in front of the court.
While someone out of view led the prayer, the women and men began shouting, “Gloria!” “Hallelujah!” and “It will be done!”
Joe and Frank Capley-Alfano came to D.C. from San Francisco, Calif., to stand against California’s Proposition 8.
They came to Washington “to stand in solidarity with the other 18,000 couples who were legally married, and to hope and to advocate for equal treatment of all couples in California,” Joe Capley-Alfano said.
“I think that the justices see the tide of change that has occurred throughout history in our nation,” he continued. “And I believe the arch of justice bends toward equality and I think that today there will be an affirmation of our nation’s belief in equality for all people.”