Filed under: NOM Tour Tracker
By Adam Bink
Many today had expressed whether Louis’ decision to support civil marriage equality, and other intentions, were authentic.
Exhibit A: This morning, NOM’s Facebook page had 291,000 fans on its Facebook page which Louis helped put together and administer. After Louis was done, here’s what it looks like now:
Louis also went on Sirius/XM radio to talk with Mike Signorile about the circumstances that led to his decision. Jeremy has the audio.
Not just a decision today — a Courageous one, as Arisha noted earlier. But a follow-through on telling his story and begin making up lost time. Good for Louis.
If you support the success we are making together in changing hearts and minds, and wish to honor Louis’ Courage and find more like him, please consider chipping in a few bucks today to our NOM work.
By Arisha Michelle Hatch
A few (very) quick thoughts that come to mind about Louis Marinelli’s news today.
Out of all the people on the NOM Tour, I could never quite understand why Louis cared so much about the freedom to marry. I got why Brian Brown was there, even “understood” Maggie Gallagher’s motivations, but Louis’ attachment to the issue always seemed puzzling to me. In part because he’s agnostic, in part because he’s so young, figuring Louis out became sort of a daily obsession for me – a daily dialogue between the two of us – many times off-camera.
I can remember saying to him at one point, “I just don’t get it. I just don’t get you.”
But I finished that tour and felt that we had become friends in a weird way. We had taken this long – sometimes stressful – road trip together; we both saw America through a very particular lens for a summer.
We hugged at the end.
I am so proud of what Louis said today. It takes real Courage to stand up to a boss like Brian; It takes real Courage to admit that you’ve changed your mind; and it takes tremendous Courage to do it in the public way that Louis has.
By Adam Bink
You read that right. P8TT friend Jeremy Hooper has the exclusive. If you need reminding, here’s our Louis (hi, Louis!):
and where 254 equality supporters turned out to silently and peacefully oppose the 20 or so NOM supporters:
As you may already know, I was the one behind the 2010 Summer for Marriage Tour which the National Organization for Marriage sponsored and operated throughout July and August last year. It was my doing when, in March that year, I approached Brian Brown about sponsoring and participating in a series of traditional marriage rallies scattered around the Nation.
In fact, the tour route itself, while chosen largely by NOM itself, incorporated as many of the sites I had originally chosen and helped independently organize. Other locations were added due to strategic, political or simply logistical purposes.
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.
If my transition from opponent to supporter of same-sex civil marriage was a timeline, Atlanta would be indicated by the first point on the line. The next point on that timeline would be two months later.
For the rest of that story, you’ll have to check out Jeremy’s interview.
As many of you may remember, I first came onboard P8TT last summer to document the NOM tour here on the front page. All I can say is, I am proud of this site and the people and organizations behind turning out so many equality supporters. I am proud that Arisha, Anthony, Phyllis and Danny spent weeks on the road to document the tour and force NOM and their staff to answer the hard questions. As you can see from reading Jeremy’s interview, the experience of talking to Anthony and our staff and reading this blog and your comments, and seeing so many real families who just want the same basic civil rights as anyone else, ended up making the difference. Over one thousand of you contributed on this very page to fund NOM Tour Tracker expenses to support this work, and ended up changing the mind of one of NOM’s leaders. We made a difference together!
If you continue to support the work we’re doing tracking NOM and want to chip in to get more success stories (Maggie next? Sky’s the limit!!), here’s that page again. Thanks for your support, thanks for making this page a place to change hearts and minds, and here’s to seeing what happens next!