The National Organization For Marriage (NOM) early Friday morning lost its grassroots and online messaging strategist, Louis Marinelli, after he defected by announcing his support for full civil marriage equality. NOM President Brian Brown Friday night in a statement announced, “Marinelli worked in a volunteer capacity as a bus driver during our summer marriage tour,” adding, “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.”
Marinelli, who had made a career out of anti-gay hatred and homophobic statements at NOM, disavowed all his previous statements in support of discredited researcher Paul Cameron, and Americans for Truth About Homosexuality founder Peter LaBarbera, and embraced marriage equality, calling civil marriage for all a “civil right.” “I now support full marriage equality,” Marinelli wrote on his blog.
Once Marinelli looked into the work of Peter LaBarbera, Marinelli says he realized LaBarbera “is just a hateful man,” and adds, “the issues Peter takes on, even if they were true, are not in themselves valid reasons for denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage.”
Jeremy Hooper, founder and editor of Good As You, who broke the Louis Marinelli story Friday, has suggested NOM’s Summer of Marriage 2010 tour was the brainchild of Marinelli. NOM took over Marinelli’s Facebook page, One Man, One Woman, as well as his same-named Twitter account. Marinelli, according to Hooper, had publicly announced the tour long before NOM had.
Of Marinelli’s defection, In a blog post Friday NOM stated Marinelli “no longer favors protecting marriage this way.” As Marinelli for the past 24 hours has been promoting marriage equality, NOM therefore must see that as “protecting marriage” too.
NOM also announced Friday their new Facebook page, which as of this writing had 219 “likes,” and lively pro-marriage equality wall postings from Facebook members.
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