Louis J. Marinelli, the National Organization for Marriage's former tour organizer, social-media guru, and outspoken advocate, has spent "the last five years putting all of [his] interest and energy into fighting the spread of same-sex marriage, as if it were a disease," by his own account. Until today. The sole founder and organizer of the admittedly hateful "Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman" Facebook page now blogs:
Whether it is an issue of disbelief, shame or embarrassment, the one thing that is for sure is that I have come to this point after several months of an internal conflict with myself. That conflict gradually tore away at me until recently when I was able to for the first time simply admit to myself that I do in fact support civil marriage equality.
I was largely taken aback by the fact that the [anti-gay marriage Facebook] page I created had become such a hateful place. My comments and 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. Once you understand the great difference between civil marriage and holy marriage, there is not one valid reason to forbid the former from same-sex couples, and all that is left to protect is the latter. Indeed Christians and Catholics alike are well within their right to demand that holy matrimony, a sacrament and service performed by the Church and recognized by the Church, remains between a man and a woman as their faith would dictate. However, that has nothing to do with civil marriage, performed and recognized by the State in accordance with state law. My name is Louis J. Marinelli, a conservative-Republican and I now support full civil marriage equality. The constitution calls for nothing less."
Well, good for him. He's young; the whole "homophobic strategist for an anti-gay marriage activist organization phase" was just him going through some things, apparently.