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From Hesitant Observers to Front-Line Leaders

Editor’s Note: Amy and Jon Vance, Marriage Reality Movement leaders in San Diego, share their story of how they became involved in the marriage movement. Like many of us, they were reluctant at first to speak on the issue. Now they are in the front lines, working with media and leading others throughout their community. Amy has been so committed at the local level that the MRM tapped her to serve on the board.

“Being a Strong Catholic is Not Enough to Successfully Defend Marriage”

Prior to our involvement with the Marriage Reality Movement, we struggled with the marriage issue. We were unsure how to speak up to non-Catholic friends or colleagues, and as a result, we avoided the subject. Even though we felt strongly about marriage, there were so many alternative arguments that we did not even know where to start.

Now we are MRM leaders in San Diego. We have been able to share the message with our friends in a meaningful way. We speak at parishes, and Amy meets with legislators, and has even appeared on TV and talk radio programs. When we see debates on TV or have questions posed to us, we realize we can answer them. We know what to say to positively promote marriage in a way that does not offend anyone. We finally feel that we are doing something to save marriage and family.

Before, the only language we had to speak about marriage was religious. Our positions did not address the common view held by so many people who are victims of the secular media’s viewpoint. We knew that the arguments to redefine marriage to accommodate same-sex relationships often appeared logical and had strong following among our friends who saw the issue about “equality” and “fairness” and who didn’t want to offend anyone. We needed to find a way to explain that marriage was about a man and a woman in secular language they could understand.

Then we heard the message of the Marriage Reality Movement, and it changed everything. Until that time, we did not know that we needed tools beyond just our faith to speak the truth about marriage in its entirety — through the perspective of children. Since becoming involved in MRM, we came to realize that it is not enough to just have a strong faith. Being involved in the parish is not enough. Having only religious arguments for an issue that is so strongly debated in the legislature, the media, and even the classroom, is not enough. The other side has a plan and we don’t — at least, we did not see one until the Marriage Reality Movement came along.

Now we have an organized effort to help us get the tools to positively support marriage in a powerful, definitive way. We have learned how to use these methods effectively, and support each other in our efforts. Our team is strong and growing. We would love to share this message with every Catholic family so they understand that their children need to be equipped with tools beyond just religious language to combat today’s cultural attacks.