Louis Marinelli, who served as a strategist for the National Organization for Marriage — the group that virulently opposes marriage equality — has had a striking change of heart and now makes a public statement that he has resigned from NOM and now supports marriage equality.
Jeremy Hooper of Good As You broke this story earlier today.
Marinelli was the strategist and organizer for NOM’s Summer Marriage Tour 2010.
Just some of what Marinelli tells Hooper:
“The lesbian and gay people whom I made a profession out of opposing became real people (on the summer bus tour) for me almost instantly. For the first time I had empathy for them and remember asking myself what I was doing.”
“As a supporter of civil marriage equality, any statements I’ve made in the past about not recognizing homosexual relationships for one reason or another, of course it goes without saying that I no longer stand by these comments and I apologize for the insensitivity. Same-sex couples, whether they are married, in civil unions or domestic partnerships, ought to be recognized for what they are.”
“Any support or endorsement of what Peter LaBarbera does I retract. I have been reading via Twitter and his website what this guy has to say, and it is clear that he is just a hateful man and I would be embarrassed and ashamed to be associated with him.”
The NOM spent much of the day in damage control mode, and issued this statement that aims to minimize Marinelli’s role with the organization:
“Louis worked in a volunteer capacity as a bus driver during our summer marriage tour. Around this time, he started pushing Facebook supporters towards NOM and we paid him as a part-time consultant for helping us expand our internet reach. He has since chosen a different focus. We wish him well.”
Hooper calls NOM’s statement an outright misrepresentation.