And when your cause is spreading intolerance against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, well, you would think that the kind of willpower it takes to organize yourself against a group of people is guaranteed to last.
We can assume that was the rationale of the largest anti-gay marriage organization in the country, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), when it appointed Louis Marinelli as Facebook page admin.
But, alas, Marinelli has had a change of heart. And on top of quitting NOM last Friday, he took NOM’s Facebook page down and managed to take the organization’s entire fan base of 290,000 people with him.
Personal vendetta against NOM? A clear nod to the LGBT community that he’s serious about his change of mind? Whatever it is, NOM has been left scrambling to rejoin Facebook and rebuild their fan base from scratch.
Whether NOM had been smart enough to use a third-party archival service to pull and store their fans information outside of Facebook is unknown, but it seems unlikely. It’s unclear whether Marinelli has that information.
According to GoodAsYou.org, Marinelli originally owned the Facebook page, which he used to promote his own initiative, Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman. As NOM and Marinelli’s project aligned objectives, NOM took over his Facebook page. Marinelli remained the page’s moderator up until the time he submitted his resignation last week.
Why did he resign, you ask? He now supports gay marriage. Yes! It took Marinelli five years of writing anti-gay blogs, making anti-gay YouTube videos, and even going on NOM’s infamous “Summer of Marriage” national tour, but he has now come out in defense of gay equality.
“Having spent the last five years putting all of my political will, interest and energy into fighting against the spread of same-sex marriage as if it were a contagious disease, I must admit that it is hard for me to put the following text into words let alone utter them with my own voice,” Marinelli wrote on his own website.
“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 said, as he explained how, as he had come into contact with gay people, he had begun changing his mind about gay marriage.
As of this writing, the newly relaunched NOM Facebook page has only gathered 500 supporters. We’ve yet to hear anything about whether Marinelli has gotten into trouble for trashing NOM’s Facebook page?
What do you think about Marinelli’s actions?
Special thanks to Kevin Nixx for the tip.