From NOM to NOME

Jim Burroway

July 22nd, 2011

Louis Marinelli, the former coordinator for National Organization for Marriage’s “Summer for Marriage Tour” who has since left NOM and announced his support for marriage equality, has launched a new group. He’s calling it the National Organization for Marriage Equality, and his web site indicates that NOME “is registering as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.”Marinelli will be hitting the road once again, just like old times.

This summer we plan to travel the country from California to Maine to talk about my change of heart on the issue of marriage equality and talk with conservatives and republicans about why they should support the freedom to marry.

This tour, which is modeled in part after the Summer for Marriage Tour I helped organize last summer for the National Organization for Marriage to oppose same-sex marriage, aims to revisit many of the places NOM visited last year to spread its discriminatory and bigoted message against gay and lesbian citizens.

I am personally responsible for that tour. It was my idea and I proposed it to Brian Brown, NOM’s President, who agreed to endorse and sponsor the project. As a result, I feel compelled to revisit the cities of last year’s marriage tour to meet the thousands of people who came out to meet discrimination and bigotry head on in the streets of their hometowns.

LGBT people turned out in droves when NOM’s tour was winding its way in 2010, often outnumbering NOM supporters at many stops. I think it would be good to turn out again. Marinelli writes that this time, “I look forward to seeing many of the same faces and families I saw last year so that this year I can stand with them, not against them.”


July 22nd, 2011

I always delighted by conversions. I am curious to know what/who and how he was converted.

Ben in Atlanta

July 22nd, 2011

If you so desire you can look at Saul/Paul’s convenient seizure on the road to Damascus. (Drama Queen). He really wasn’t any less of an a-hole after. He just changed targets.

Irreverent yes; not true; think about it for a minute.

John Blatzheim

July 22nd, 2011

This is awesome! I think the more that genuinely conservative (read: small-government) voters see how much of the anti-equality position is based solely on religious doctrine, the more they will flock to our side. And it seems like that is exactly what Louis Marinelli is doing, given that I’m pretty sure he’s still religiously opposed to homosexuality, but has realized that it is a civil right and shouldn’t have anything to do with one particular religious doctrine.


July 22nd, 2011

It’s a shame Marinelli is straight otherwise he could have created the “Gay National Organization for Marriage Equality” or GNOME.

The Gnome T Shirt slogans, word-play, and merchandising could have been epic!

Timothy Kincaid

July 22nd, 2011


I do have to disagree in part with you. As Saul he sought the end of the Christian movement through legal means (sort of the 1st Century equivalent of what the anti-gay groups do to us).

As Paul, he sought to give structure to the new movement and reign in some of the wilder elements. While Christians today give broad interpretation to the remonstrations in Pauls epistles, they mostly were direct instruction to real people in exact situations. (As one of the more not-brilliant examples: His objections to idol worshipers have been stripped of context and are now, according to Exodus, Scriptural evidence that “change is possible”)

One of Paul’s dominant themes is his change and how he was a different man. So much so that he took a new name.

And, to some extent, he was. He was instrumental in negotiating compromise on areas such as circumcision, dietary rules etc., all of which was a sharp break from Saul.

I think one of the illustrations of how Paul benefited from having been Saul is his sensitivity in one passage. He said that he felt no restriction about eating meat that had being ritually offered to an idol but that he realized that others would be confused or think that Paul was honoring other gods so, for their sake, he would just avoid eating meat in a temple.

But, yes, even though he thought of himself as “free” (and, considering his background, had come a long ways) his first instinct remained towards rigidity, conformity, and more than a little self-importance. That was probably an asset when dealing with a bunch of start-up self-monitored churches all claiming to be Christian but with no written doctrine, no agreement on what being a Christian meant, and with the limitations of communication at the time.

But today, some of Paul’s writing – stripped of the context of who he was writing to, the culture in which they lived, why he was writing, and what he was writing about – can seem like intolerance and rigidity. For example, while Paul’s position on a woman’s role was wildly liberal for the time and community he was talking to, in today’s world it would be seen as sexist, if not downright misogynist. And, of course, most of the clobber passages are attributable to Paul*. Literalists (both within and without Christianity) want only to deal with the specific words that they think proves their point (which has become far too often the only reason to quote Scripture) but someone looking at the themes of his writing and what it meant to his audience can find an entirely different message.

But he certainly was direct and aggressive. And well… If I knew Paul, I probably wouldn’t disagree with your assessment of his personality. Yeah, he probably was pretty much an a-hole


(* caveat: I wonder if perhaps Paul’s decision to make up words that have been presumed to be about homosexuality rather than use the common words at the time may at some point in the future be seen as radically liberal and counterculture. I don’t know, but religious conclusion may at some point be that he wanted to criticize specific excesses – Paul hated excesses of all sorts – but did not want to do so in a way that did not demean people. Maybe.)

Ben In Oakland

July 22nd, 2011

And there is always the question of exactly what that thorn in the flesh that Paul complained about might be?

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