The Fervour of the Convert: Gay Marriage Opponent Jeff Angelo Turns Advocate, Marinelli’s New Bus Tour.

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.

From Gay Marriage Ban Backer To Opponent, Jeff Angelo Launches Support Campaign

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.

On Top Magazine

Meanwhile, Marinelli is mounting a pro-equality bus tour of Minnesota:

 

NOM Hate Bus : Going Into Reverse?

 

Former NOM staffer to bring marriage equality tour to 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.”

Minnesota Independent: News. Politics. Media.

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1 comment for “The Fervour of the Convert: Gay Marriage Opponent Jeff Angelo Turns Advocate, Marinelli’s New Bus Tour.

  1. Colkoch
    May 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    The cynic in me wonders if this isn’t the money machine in the Republican party trying to play both ends of this issue and get some distance from Tea Party evangelicals.  With rumors abounding that Palin is going to announce her candidacy for president, the mainstream Repubs have to do something to make that thought unattractive for her. Gay marriage to the rescue.

    In any event, it is nice to see the jack boot on the other foot for a change.

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