NOM strategist comes out in support of the freedom to marry

“. . . the lesbian and gay people whom I made a profession out of opposing became real people for me almost instantly.”

Probably not the first words you would expect to hear from Louis Marinelli, a leading strategist for the National Organization for Marriage and the primary orchestrator of NOM’s Summer for Marriage tour this past summer. Louis, who also managed NOM’s Facebook page, frequently characterized gay and lesbian couples as immoral, deviant abominations throughout the course of NOM’s 26 city anti-gay bus tour.


But then, something changed for Louis. As he continued to travel across the country alongside Maggie, Brian, and their colleagues in the anti-gay movement, he came face-to-face with the committed couples, loving families, and dedicated supporters of the freedom to marry that he was working so hard to discriminate against. And after daily inundations with NOM’s harmful, deceitful rhetoric, his position on marriage began to evolve.


Like so many Americans, Louis came to realize that there is simply no good reason to oppose the freedom to marry for loving and committed couples who merely want to make a public commitment to one another, build a life together, and protect their families.


Today in an exclusive interview with Good as You’s Jeremy Hooper, Louis spoke out in support of the freedom to marry, going so far as to apologize for the harm his ardent opposition to marriage has inflicted on the lives of gay and lesbian couples.


“I really came to understand that gays and lesbians were just real people who wanted to live real lives and be treated equally as opposed to, for example, wanting to destroy American culture. No, they didn’t want to destroy American culture, they wanted to openly particulate in it.”


When we first found out that NOM was planning their Summer for Marriage tour, we knew that we couldn’t let their anti-gay road show go unanswered. We partnered with local, state, and national partners to mobilize over 4,000 marriage supporters throughout the tour to demonstrate what marriage is really about: love, commitment, and family.


At Freedom to Marry, we’re deeply committed to the belief that the power to change society lies in the personal, real life stories of loving couples who are unable to share in the safety net that only marriage brings. 


Hearts and minds can and do change. And because of freedom to marry’s supporters across the country this summer, one adamantly opposed heart did just that.