Defenders of traditional marriage rally at state Capitol
By Nissa LaPoint
Photo by James Baca/DCR
Catholics and other traditional marriage advocates ended the legislative session with a bang last week when hundreds gathered for a rousing rally at the state Capitol, determined not to be silenced amid the political brouhaha over same-sex unions.
“When marriage is attacked, we respond,” Father Andrew Kemberling, pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial, told the crowd at the rally.
The Colorado Catholic Conference organized the May 15 rally on the steps of the Capitol downtown to show their support for marriage between one man and one woman.
Supporters of traditional marriage mobilized after Gov. John Hickenlooper asked legislators in the Colorado General Assembly to convene for a special session in order to vote on seven bills not addressed during regular session, including Senate Bill 2, which would have permitted same-sex couples to enter into a civil union. However, the bill was killed by a House committee during the three-day session last week.
Speakers at the rally said the fight to protect marriage, the cornerstone of society, is not over.
Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Douglas, asked the crowd to continue to speak up to protect marriage as defined in the state constitution.
“Evil prevails when good men sit and do nothing,” he told the crowd.
Speaker of the House Frank McNulty, R-Douglas, who is credited with using maneuvers to kill the civil union bill in the House, told the crowd that the work to protect marriage does not end with the state Legislature.
“We need to go out and carry our message throughout the state of Colorado that we will protect families, that we will protect marriage,” McNulty said.
Dissenters in the crowd used an air horn and yelled in protest while he spoke. He said the protesters have a right to free speech, but that the crowd should also yell out loud their message.
“What I want you to do is scream loud and let Gov. John Hickenlooper know that families matter and that traditional marriage matters,” he said, drawing cheers and applause. “Folks, it does not end here today.”
Father Kemberling later told the crowd that in a democracy, citizens may agree to disagree. However, many will try to stop Christians from discussing religion and morals, which he said is a violation of freedom.
“This is what socialists will do. They will stop you from talking,” Father Kemberling said. “They will not just regulate you; they will oppress you. They silence you. (Christians) know this. We’ve been silenced throughout the centuries, and we’ve died because we will not stop defending our faith, and our lord and savior Jesus Christ, and our belief in God.”
He added that marriage is not a concept that was started by legislators—it is a truth from God.
Father Kemberling asked all Christians to exercise their rights and vote in accordance with the protection of traditional marriage.
“Vote your conscience to protect your conscience,” he said, “because there are those who want to take that freedom away.”