WASHINGTON (EWTN News)—Leaders of organizations dedicated to preventing the redefinition of marriage said in an Oct. 8 panel that the movement to support marriage should not give up hope.
“This cause is not only just, but, in the end, will prevail,” said Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage.
Gallagher presented “The Case for Hope on Marriage” as part of a panel at the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington.
The panel, entitled “Straight Talk on ‘Gay Marriage,’” was moderated by Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council.
Gallagher explained that those committed to defending marriage have heard over and over again that they cannot win the battle.
However, she said, “a culture war is like any other war,” in the sense that victory comes “not when one side is annihilated, but when it gives up its wish to fight.”
Therefore, she explained, the war to defend marriage will never end as long as its supporters never lose hope.
“This is an ideal we cannot afford to surrender,” she said.
Gallagher also called for respect, decency and civility in carrying out the debate over marriage.
“We can never become the caricature they try to turn us into,” she said.
Daniel Avila, policy advisor for marriage and family for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told those gathered at the summit that “the bishops are committed to action.”
He recalled Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s recent letter to President Obama on the negative effects of legalizing same-sex “marriage.”
“We will be in this battle for a long time, and our mission will not be easy,” Avila acknowledged.
However, he explained, “Contrary to what you’re told in the media, defeat is not ordained.”
Avila urged those gathered at the summit to “be joyful witnesses to the whole truth.” He encouraged them to promote marriage not only through their public words and activities, but also through the example that they set in their own lives.
This witness is especially important for young people, he said.
“The institution of marriage has collapsed around the young, and they sorely need to see heroic examples of wisdom, virtue and conviction.”
“Every person is essential in the battle,” said Derek McCoy, president of Maryland Family Alliance. “If you’re just sitting on the sidelines, that’s not enough.”
McCoy emphasized the importance of unity in the battle to defend marriage.
“We have to work across party lines whenever possible,” he said.
“We must bridge the racial divide that is in our country,” he added. “We cannot discount the involvement of multiple ethnic groups on this battle.”
McCoy reiterated the idea that there is hope for those committed to supporting marriage.
“Marriage is a winning issue,” he said, pointing to victories for marriage in every state where the question has been put to a vote of the people.
“We can make a difference.”