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Top official at NOM quits, becoming supporter of civil marriage

WASHINGTON -- Louis Marinelli, a key strategist in developing the grass-roots and online messaging strategy of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), has undergone what he calls a “transition” from being an ardent opponent of the LGBT community and marriage equality specifically, to supporting civil marriage between LGBT couples.

Jeremy Hooper of “Good as You” broke this story earlier today. HERE.

“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,” Marinelli told Hooper.

“This defection is a good example of what is, and will continue to be consistent in the fight for equality,” said Kevin Nix, NOM Project Director for the Human Rights Campaign. “Once people actually meet LGBT people, they are more likely to support equality.”

Marinelli did harm to the LGBT community. He was the strategist behind NOM’s multistate 2010 Summer Bus Tour and a key digital strategist for the organization, writing things like, “Those who wish to promote homosexual behavior are encouraging people to shorten their life spans.”

“Even NOM’s own people are having trouble with the organization’s unusual mission: to stop committed gay and lesbian couples from getting married,” Nix said. “We know such defections among more Americans, including NOM’s most strident supporters will continue over time.”

Despite its public portrayal of “tolerance”-- and despite dubious claims by Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown that they have “gay friends and family”-- NOM is an extremist organization that opposes not only marriage equality, but civil unions as well. Help us continue uncovering NOM’s questionable ethics, shady financial connections, and discriminatory rhetoric at NOMExposed.org.