NOM’s Marinelli loses it over attendee counts

Timothy Kincaid

August 3rd, 2010

Louis Marinelli, the bus driver for the National Organization for Marriage’s Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas (and Church Parking Lots) is breaking under the stress, falling apart, going bonko. And though it’s shameful to admit, I find it fascinating to watch.

Well, that and the fact that the rest of their tour is so mind-numbingly boring that he’s the only thing interesting to watch, kind of like a demented clown at a particularly bad circus.

So, anyway, I’ve been giving Marinelli a little grief over at his website about the count he reports for attendees. For some reason he thinks it’s not quite as embarrassing if he doubles or triples the tiny turnout – like 40 is bad but “over 100” is something to be proud of.

And it’s so obvious. Not only does the Trial Tracker crew do hand counts and take pictures, but even NOM will post pictures that make it clear that at stop after stop they are only talking to a handful of people in a big open space. Clearly they were hoping that fired up marriage supporters would be greeting them at each city showing that American wants to defend marriage from the homos. It’s sad.

Yet Louis tries – desperately – to put a spin on it. Stop after stop he’s put on a brave face and tried to make it look like NOM’s little tour is a glorious success. But this time he’s finally lost it.

At Des Moine there were a whopping 86 people who showed up. All in all, that’s not bad for this tour which has seen “crowds” as small as 19. But it wasn’t good enough for Louis Marinelli. Oh no, he announced:

As you can see, our 150+ supporters gathered in the shade to escape the hot glaring sunshine.

Our stalkers over at the NOM Tour Tracker love to downplay the turnout we have at our rallies. The last thing they want is for the public to see a strong turnout of Americans who support marriage between a man and a woman only.

That is why they have been constantly claiming that our turnouts have been very low. Now this picture shows about fifty people but it is taken from within the crowd. A conservative estimate would be 150 yet the stalkers from Califrornia claim we had less than 90. They do this so that they can (and they have) claim that the counter-protesters who show up to interfere with the rally “outnumber” our supporters.

Oh, but there was just on teensy little problem. You see, NOM itself had posted a front facing elevated angle picture of their crowd in a way that caught all of them. No stragglers, no “just outside the frame”, no “lots more to the left”, no “but half the crowd is behind the ones you see”; nope, every single soul listening to their speakers drone on in Des Moines was caught in glorious color. And NOM, bless their hearts, posted this picture with digital clarity that lets you blow it up big. Real big. Big enough to count every last one of the 86 people at the rally.

Now a better person than me would have been gracious. A more polite, loving observer might have suggested that perhaps it was early, maybe some were laying down behind the others, maybe there were folks way the heck back on the other side of the plaza listening. But sadly, I’m just not that noble.

So I kinda teased Louis just a bit. I maybe, just for a moment (or two) suggested that everyone reading his blogsite count for themselves and hinted a itty bitty bit that Louis was maybe stretching things just ever so slightly. Okay, maybe it wasn’t teasing a little bit; maybe it was full on taunting.

My bad.

But who knew that it would cause Louis to come completely unhinged? Who knew that this would be the result:

Our rally today in Sioux City attracted about 80 people. Our opponents claim that only 56 showed up but that of course, is because they need to make it sound like there were more people at their same-sex ‘marriage’ rally they held than who showed up to support authentic marriage between a man and a woman.

They can take a picture from forty feet away and count the heads they see. Sure from that point of view and in a two-dimensional photo, there very well may be only 56 heads visible. But said photo lacks important aspects such as depth which is why their head count of 56 is about 25 heads short.

There’s no way one photo from one vantage point is going to show each person standing in a group! It’s a very simple concept yet our opponents have made this mistake time and time again – but the point is that it actually isn’t a mistake.

They are doing this on purpose because if NOM appears to have high turnouts or at the very least turnouts that are greater than their counter protests, then they lose.

This is why time and time again we see their estimates of our turnouts to be lower than media reports and more importantly, lower than their counter-protest turnout. The first thing they posted today was about turnout focusing on 56 NOM supporters and a convienently slightly higher 64 same-sex marriage supporters.

Oh, Louis honey, we don’t care if there were 56 or 80 or 110. It’s all still so very very laughably pathetic. After months of planning and effort and with hundreds of churches in town to draw from, you’re getting next to no one. And your wild exaggerations are only making you sound sad and desperate.

But those five furious paragraphs weren’t enough. No, Louis had to prove his point (not really something I really recommend for someone with Louis’ grasp on reality). He posted a picture of part of today’s rally (about 28 people total) and a picture of two women picking up materials at NOM’s table and issued a challenge.

Challenge: Find these two women signing up to join the NOM team in the picture of the rally above.

Because if we couldn’t find these two in his cropped picture well, that proved something. Or other. But it gets worse.

You already know where this is going, don’t you?


Me: The blond woman in green is next to the guy in the baseball cap to the right.

Yeah, somehow I think this trip just hasn’t been as fun as Louis thought it would be. And I do feel kinda dirty for being so unkind.

Evan Hurst

August 3rd, 2010

What a baby.

Lindoro Almaviva

August 3rd, 2010

OMG, that is exactly what i would’ve done. I am so proud of you.

David Malcolm

August 3rd, 2010

The sad truth is probably that all this hate stems from him going a little far with a buddy at church camp.


August 3rd, 2010

Timothy Kincaid, will you gay marry me?!

David C.

August 3rd, 2010

And I do feel kinda dirty for being so unkind.

Why, Tim? The whole NOM thing is a circus. Laugh, poke fun, deride, expose distortions, and ridicule to your hearts content. Your target deserves nothing less.


August 4th, 2010

Perhaps Louis needs to be reminded of the JTI protests on Nov. 15th 2008? over a million people in hundreds of cities across five or six countries and three continents, and it took just seven days to organise. And nOM can’t achieve the tiniest fraction of that with months and months of planning? We all know they’re losing the war, and losing hard. That’s what this is really all about.

Steve in MI

August 4th, 2010

The quote attributed to President Truman comes to mind… “I don’t give ’em hell. I tell ’em the truth and they THINK it’s hell”. (from memory; apologies to the former President for accuracy)

Nothing impolite in your actions, just truths that must be uncomfortable to a dying movement. Give ’em (Truman’s) hell! :)


August 4th, 2010

I don’t think you should feel at all guilty about taunting him, because I don’t think you were. Asking someone to be accountable for the words that they write is not cruel or unfair in the slightest.

I have a solution to the dispute around the field of view / “some attendees are behind others” issue. Louis and NOM can rent a small plane or helicopter and take aerial shots of the crowd. That way, there is no disputing the crowd counts… except for people under trees… :)

B John

August 4th, 2010

Well, I hate to admit it, but I blew it up, and counting people at the bottom of the steps, and shadows in the trees that may or may not be people (and I’m including everyone in the photo including Ms. Brown and NOM staff), I actually did get 79. Now this also includes photographers…everyone in the photo.

As you noted, of course, there’s not a lot of difference between 56 and 80, especially as compared to Louis’ original claim of over 150. Even if you count the trees, you don’t have 150 there.

I still come back to the fact that the whole purpose of this can not have anything to do with turning out people for a rally. With any amount of advance work, they should have been able to contact three or four sympathetic pastors who could each turn 40 or so parishioners. That would at least get them over 100 (legitimately).

This has to be about something else, and I’m more sure each day that they were told by their primary benefactors (who want to remain anonymous) that they better get some ammunition to take to court to get the exceptions to keep the donor lists and petition signers secret. That is all this is about.


August 4th, 2010

[Tongue firmly in cheek]

Ah. Well, clearly: the claimed-yet-unseen-in-the-photo supporters (a group 75% of the size of the visible crowd) are all nestled firmly behind the visible attendees, sitting on the ground, doubtlessly immobilized by breast feeding infants. It’s a damn shame that the nom supporters visible in the photo all bunched up in front like that, cruelly blocking the sightline of those who were just exercising their right to sit on the ground, way in back. It’s an even greater shame because, as everyone knows, blocking line-of-sight also renders something inaudible — particularly when such big, honking public address systems are in use.


John Doucette

August 4th, 2010

Who cares if it is 59 or 79 or 109? by any measure, it is not a large crowd, or even a crowd. Take out those on the tour (support staff and all) and how many are there? Also, how many showed up simply out of curiosity rather than supporting NOM, like people slowing down to gawk at an accident or people with nothing better to do at the moment? If America is so against same-sex marriage, where are the hundreds, thousands or more?

Bob Barnes

August 4th, 2010

It’s clear that Louis idolizes Brian and follows his lead in inflating attendance numbers. Also, another Brian trait? Whining when caught lying.


August 4th, 2010

This is pure comedy. We should expect nothing less from this 2M4M campaign. They’ll be lucky if they reach a (less scandalously named) 1M4M at this rate.


August 4th, 2010

I just can’t believe all of you. Louis is just amazing! He drives, he counts, and Lord knows how many other duties he has. I can hardly believe he does all that and can still manage to find time to read all the “other” blogs out there to research what everyone else is saying about him.

Keep on spreading the hate – I think you’re helping our side!

Regan DuCasse

August 4th, 2010

IA, where marriage has been legal for a few years, right?
So, here they are, kind of protesting and trying to assert what’s best for children again.
And this crowd could be honest and really think about the affect of marriage equality on their communities, state and their own lives.

They’d have to think, if they are capable: how did all this play out BEFORE the SC decision in IA?
And to what affect is it in now?

What is different, if anything?
What did my donations, or appearance really do to make hetero couples actually BE protected?
And ARE they?

Perhaps if NOM hadn’t showed up at all, how any of this activity plays out in reality might give NOM’s supporters something ELSE to chew on: the counter demonstrations wouldn’t be here either.

And we’re here in the hot sun for WHAT exactly?
Maybe other people did this calculus and decided that it wasn’t worth interrupting the family bbq, a wedding, a fishing trip…because NOM doesn’t really shake their tree a whole lot compared to what they really see from day to day.

Fear that we won’t be able to vote against gay people and the ability to divorce them without their consent.
And just WHAT will that do for me when my unemployment runs out, or how does that shore up my 401K. Gets my son’s job back so me, grandpa, doesn’t have to have little grandchildren living with ME.

NOM, isn’t REALLY on a crusade that addresses the most vital and important issues of anyone’s day.

But if we put it in terms of marriage equality made gay people more self reliant, with no need to have public services care for them, or taxpayers lose more revenue to political policies that are inactive.
Our state of CA is BROKE. And all that money was spent, in a way, just to keep gay people from SUPPORTING the state in a more significant way.
If anyone wanted to look at the cold calculus of what marriage equality would cost, compared to inequality: the smart money would go to equal rights.

But, NOM isn’t smart. NOM is arrogant and fearful. And people like that are wasteful and single minded in the face of more urgent issues.
If ‘I got better things to do’ is what confronts NOM, then tough shit.

Being anti gay is expensive, wasteful and doesn’t especially represent good policy.
It just gets people worked up. But the energy to KEEP worked up is exhausting. Financially and physically.

Brian Brown needs to be at home tending to his seven children, who, I’m sure already are shorted for his time and energy even when he IS home.
It’s sad they have to compete for his time with a political cause that’s not benefiting his children in the least.


August 4th, 2010

Somehow all this thing about people being or not being in the photo makes me recall the monty phytons´spamalot character “Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Show”.
I think Louis counts a lot of “Atendees-Not-Appearing-In-This-Rally”.

Maybe we could start reporting the rallys in that way: “it had 80 atendees, 50 protesters and 120 “Atendees-Not-Appearing-In-This-Rally”

Louis would be happy!


August 4th, 2010

that was the best laugh i’ve had all day!


August 4th, 2010

I helped you out and posted a link to another pic of the same crowd (but all of them) from a different angle, the one that a NOMTourTracker took. It shows both the woman in green and the redheaded woman in black, clearly standing in the front row. I think the woman in purple in the second pic gave it up as a bad day and went home.



August 4th, 2010

Either the woman in purple gave up and went home — or maybe she’s the one holding the camera for the group shot.


August 4th, 2010

I found the second lady too! In the photo they have posted under the caption “cloudy day”… at the top of the site.


August 4th, 2010

I think it’s interesting that they ordered only one port-a-potty. Says plenty about their true expectations, does it not?

Michael Bussee

August 4th, 2010

This reminds me of the “Where’s Waldo” books. Are they hiding behind bushes or cars? Maybe they’re peering out the windows of those tall buildings in the background.

Michael Bussee

August 4th, 2010

Maybe the crammed the porta-potty like college kids used to stuff telephone booths.


August 4th, 2010

You’ve gotta think that all this putting the words “marriage” in quotes when discussing same-sex marriage has to get tedious at their overpriced dinner parties. Can you see all the finger-wagging every time it’s brought up? Hilarious.

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