Louis Marinelli has said some nasty stuff about gays, worked hard against our rights, and even developed and drove the bus for the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) bus tour last summer that got abysmal attendance.
But -- thankfully -- Marinelli's story doesn't end there. Jeremy Hooper of Good As You documents Marinelli's original nasty words then includes an email interview. By the end of that tour Marinelli began to see the tour's protesters (who outnumbered the people he was trying to attract) as real people wanting to fit into the American Dream, not destroy it. He wrestled with the issue over the next several months. He now repudiates many things he has said and now supports civil gay marriage. Yay! Along the way he says churches are free to follow their doctrine about who can receive official blessings. He's not yet convinced homosexuality is not a health threat nor a mental disease (nor moral) but says these should not impede gay rights. He also understands why so many people call NOM a hate group.
Next is the hard part of atoning for his sins. At least he recognizes that.
During Marinelli's months of wrestling a writer named RJ who writes the blog Fighting for Cake responded to one of Marinelli's tirades against gays. Marinelli credits the response for being a major point in his change of thinking. RJ replied to several of Marinelli's points, then offered his personal 10-point gay agenda. I summarize:
1. Repeal of the military ban.
2. A world in which gay youth are not harassed and assaulted (the word "bully" is way too polite).
3. A world in which he is not assaulted for public displays of affection with his boyfriend, which has happened.
4. Gays are not fired from jobs for being gay.
5. Gays are permitted to donate blood (his own mother would benefit).
6. Routine HIV testing for everyone, not just gays, and other efforts to eliminate the disease.
7. A government that treats him and his boyfriend as more than glorified roommates.
8. A society free from religious persecution.
9. A society free of unnecessary social conflict such as the current debate over marriage equality.
10. A society and government that takes equal protection seriously.
Speaking of NOM…
Marriage equality has been delayed in Maryland in part because NOM promised serious money for any legislator who opposed gay marriage and for the opponent of one who voted for equality. Yes, that sounds like a bribe.
The effort also fell short in Colorado. Tim Gill has said he will give serious money to pro-equality candidates in the 2012 election cycle.
NOM is not pleased that someone is using their tactics against them.