Open Letter to Congress: Why We’re Marching for Marriage

Dear Members of Congress,

Today I am joining thousands of my fellow Americans from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the national March for Marriage. You may not understand why so many thousands of “Main Street” Americans think it’s important to defend marriage in such a way. Because mainstream media reporting is often lacking – or in many cases outright unfair – when it comes to covering pro-family issues, I think it’s important for you to hear why so many of us are marching through our nation’s capital today, and why you as lawmakers should be fighting with us to defend marriage.

My intent in writing you today is not to outline every single reason why protecting marriage between one man and one woman is important, so this letter will be brief. There are a number of resources available that detail all the arguments and research in support of defending marriage and the family. Please feel free to contact me if I can help you procure these.

Why are we here? There are many special interest groups and their allies in the media who would have you believe that this gathering emanates from some hostility, bigotry or even hatred towards our fellow citizens. But that is not the truth.

In short, we are here marching for marriage out of love: Love for our fellow Americans, love for our country and in gratitude for the religious freedom that allows us to demonstrate our love of God by telling the truth in the public square.

We love our fellow citizens, our neighbors, enough to tell them the truth about what marriage is and why it’s important – even though some might find this truth hard to accept. Marriage is not just a marker of social acceptance, and it’s not simply the state-recognized union of any two (or more) people who decide to be together to fulfill their own personal wants and desires. At its core, marriage is the union of a man and woman ordered toward the procreation and education of children. Marriage is something. Marriage means something. Marriage has a purpose. Recognizing this truth and sharing it with others is not an act of disrespect, but an act of love.

We love our country, and recognize that the family is the one essential building block of society. This is why our government has always had an interest in promoting and protecting marriage: To nurture stable families which benefit the development of the next generation of Americans, who then have better opportunities to create a more prosperous nation. Studies show that kids do better when their mother and father are in the home. And these stable families have an incredible impact on the size and scope of government, the amount of taxpayer money being spent on assistance programs and on the growth of our nation’s economy.

We are grateful for our religious freedom, and a number of recent events have given us cause for concern that this freedom is being threatened. Many who support the traditional and religious view of marriage have come under attack in the United States, specifically on religious grounds. Some have been compelled by force of government to violate long-held religious beliefs in their business practices, and others have been forced from their place of employment altogether by the mob of public opinion. As lawmakers who take oaths to defend our First Amendment right to religious freedom, it is incumbent on you to speak out against these bullying tactics against our fellow citizens.

The public debate about marriage in the U.S. right now is very volatile and emotional, and understandably so. But when our culture is so fixated on the present and fulfilling our own desires “right now,” we need lawmakers to take the long-view of what is good for our society and our nation – even if it seems politically unpopular. Redefining marriage by law will create far more problems for future generations than it will solve. But protecting traditional marriage, coupled with common sense reforms in other areas of the law, can only serve to benefit our country’s future.

I hope you will take some time today and in the coming weeks to reexamine this issue, the reasons we are marching in our nation’s capital today, and how you can make a positive impact in the fight to defend marriage.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International

A version of this letter was sent via postal mail to House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

About Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

Fr. Shenan J. Boquet has served as president of Human Life International since 2011. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. As HLI’s president, Fr. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries, offering the Sacraments, giving seminars and trainings, appearing on numerous media outlets, and encouraging people of all walks of life to live as faithful advocates for a Culture of Life and Love. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing


  1. James Anderson on June 19, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    The Roman Catholic church has nothing whatsoever to do with my marriage.

  2. cminca on June 19, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    I was going to post but frankly I can’t be bothered.
    There is no use in pointing out that the Father is bearing false witness because he, and the rest of the bigots, just don’t care.

  3. greenpointguy on June 19, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    How could annulling extant marriages, destroying loving relationships, separating parents and children, and forcing happy people into sad lives of celibacy EVER be described as “love”?

  4. Maggie 4NoH8 on June 19, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Wow… the author is truly separated from reality if he thinks this isn’t offensive, but “loving” and “in Christ”. #SMH

  5. Margaret P on June 19, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    This is powerful. The fifth and sixth paragraphs say it all for me. Thank you, Fr. Boquet!

  6. AdamC_HLI on June 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Comments will be deleted if they are not civil in advancing dialogue or debate. Those repeatedly posting uncivil comments will be banned.

  7. Reeny on June 20, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    REAL love is demonstrated when one casts off popular
    opinion and has the courage to share and defend God’s truths for the sake of
    men’s souls. TRUE happiness comes from upholding and living these truths. That
    is pure, honest, authentic love. Everything else is counterfeit. Thank you Fr.
    Shenan for loving mankind to their core with genuine concern for their
    salvation. Prayers go out to all who have been blinded by a culture of deceit.

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