Two reports this morning demonstrate the fervour of new converts, as former opponents of marriage equality turn their energies to active support. Louis Marinelli’s conversion is not new, but his bus tour is. Jeff Angelo’s support is new. Both of these men insist that gay marriage should be a conservative value, both attribute their change of heart to getting to know gay couples. As same – sex couples (and their families) become increasingly visible everywhere, there will be many more of these conversion experiences, increasing the number of our straight allies.
Former Iowa state Senator Jeff Angelo, who once backed a gay marriage ban amendment, will helm a new group for conservatives who support gay marriage.
Angelo is expected to unveil his new group Republicans for Freedom next week, the Des Moines Register reported.
“This debate centers around the devaluation of the lives of a select group of people,” Angelo told lawmakers at a public hearing earlier this year. “At its worst, we are being asked to believe that our gay friends are involved in a nefarious agenda. The outcome of which, supposedly, is the unraveling of society itself.”
In 2006, the former Senator co-sponsored an amendment that sought to define marriage as a heterosexual union in the Iowa Constitution. A successful effort would have prevented the Iowa Supreme Court from legalizing the institution in 2009.
And ironically, Angelo credits getting to know married gay couples for his change of heart.
Meanwhile, Marinelli is mounting a pro-equality bus tour of Minnesota:
Louis Marinelli, a former bus driver and organizer for the National Organization for Marriage’s anti–gay marriage tour last year, is launching his own tour — but this time he’ll be on the other side of the issue. Marinelli says it was last year’s anti-gay marriage tour that changed his mind about marriage equality. He’ll be bringing his tour in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples through St. Paul in August.
Through the new project Marinelli tour hopes to change the minds of conservative legislators. He sees it as a counter to NOM’s anti-gay marriage tour last year, which included stops in St. Cloud and St. Paul.
“Over the course of 30 days, we traveled more than 10,000 miles to spread a discriminatory message I once believed in to oppose same-sex marriage,” he wrote. “Ironically, it was that very summer tour that led me to change my mind and come to support marriage equality.”
Related articles at QTC:
- Gay Marriage : Battles Remain, the War is Won.
- Polling Evidence: The Gay Marriage Conundrum, for GOP and Catholic Bishops
- Polling Evidence for Minnesota GOP’s Big, Big Mistake on Gay Marriage.
- More Polling Evidence that Support for Gay Marriage, Adoption is Growing
- Church Takes a stand – FOR Marriage Equality
- Methodist Church Billboard: “Being Gay is a Gift from God”
- CNN Poll: Majority Support for Gay Marriage Creates Problem for GOP
- 10 Years of Gay Marriage, and the Christian Church
Related articles elsewhere:
- Iowa Republican Launches Campaign in Support of Gay Marriage (Des Moines Register)
- Once Lost, Now Found: Louis Marinelli of National Organization for Marriage Has Conversion Experience (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- NOM Defector Marinelli Plans Summer Bus Tour for Marriage Equality (towleroad.com)
- Watch: Defector Louis Marinelli Speaks Out Against NOM’s Anti-Gay Marriage Rally This Sunday in NYC (towleroad.com)
- A NOM Organizer Embraces Marriage Equality (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)