Interview: Louis Marinelli, Former Activist Against Same-Sex Marriage, Has Change of Heart
NOM, co-founded by syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher, is a non-profit organization that describes its mission as “protect(ing) marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.”
From the NOM web site:
Founded in 2007 in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage in state legislatures, NOM serves as a national resource for marriage-related initiatives at the state and local level. For decades, pro-family organizations have educated the public about the importance of marriage and the family, but have lacked the organized, national presence needed to impact state and local politics in a coordinated and sustained fashion. NOM seeks to fill that void, organizing as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, giving it the flexibility to lobby and support marriage initiatives across the nation.
Marinelli, not exactly a friend of the LGBT community in the past, resigned from NOM a few days ago with an online flourish, writing a blog post called I now support full marriage equality, complete with a retraction of previous negative statements he’d made about gays and lesbians.
Yesterday I interviewed Marinelli, who currently works and studies in Russia, about the reasons behind his about-face on this issue. He said that while on the anti-gay marriage tour, he “had (the) opportunity to meet (gays and lesbians) and see who they really are. They became real people for me with real faces, real stories, real families, and I for the first time was able to see how negatively my work was affecting them in a real way.”
We also have a call and an email out to the National Organization for Marriage for a response, but so far no one has gotten back to us. But NOM President Brian Brown did issue this statement, along with an announcement of a new NOM Facebook page, through the organization’s blog:
Louis Marinelli worked in a volunteer capacity as a bus driver during our summer marriage tour. Around this time, NOM began to pay him as a part-time consultant for helping us expand our internet reach. He has since chosen a different focus. We wish him well.