"Ironically, one of the last tour stops added to the itinerary was Atlanta and I bring this site up because it was in Atlanta that I can remember that I questioned what I was doing for the first time. The NOM showing in the heart of the Bible-belt was dismal and the hundreds of counter-protesters who showed up were nothing short of inspiring.
Even though I had been confronted by the counter-protesters throughout the marriage tour, the lesbian and gay people whom I made a profession out of opposing became real people for me almost instantly. For the first time I had empathy for them and remember asking myself what I was doing....
In December I came out in support of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I also removed the admins I had delegated my moderating duties to for my [NOM] Facebook page.
Having done that, I had to pick up where they left off. I was largely taken aback by the fact that the page I created had become such a hateful place. My comments are rhetoric paled in comparison to what that place had turned into. I began to understand why the gay community was out there claiming opposition to same-sex civil marriage was all about hate.
I soon realized that there I was surrounded by hateful people; propping up a cause I created five years ago, a cause which I had begun starting to question. This would be timeline point number three. I wanted to extend an olive branch in some way and started to reinstate those who had been banned by previous administrators of my page. I welcomed them to participate on the page and did what I could do erase the worst comments and even ban those who posted them.
Also, I started regularly conversing with same-sex marriage supporters in another Facebook group. This further solidified my new perception of gays and lesbians as real people, not some faceless political opponent. That could be considered the next point on the timeline....
The negative thing about NOM’s work is that it diverts our attention from what is important to preventing a group of people from obtaining civil marriage licenses. We have to stop seeing things in black and white all the time and that is, I’m afraid, what NOM does in terms of marriage. The world isn’t black and white, it’s yellow, it’s green, it’s purple, it’s red, orange, it’s blue. It is, in fact, all of the colors of the rainbow and that’s what makes up our world and that’s why the rainbow flag represents not only the gay rights movement but the diversity the gay community brings to this world."
In part because of his work and experiences with NOM, Marinelli now supports civil marriage equality. His support is much appreciated, even though there are problematic aspects of his other views regarding homosexuality. It will be interesting to see how NOM reacts to Marinelli's flip.
ps- Dear NOM, Whooooops!