April 13, 2011 at 4:06 PM ET
Who says people don't change?
After five years of writing anti-gay blogs, making anti-gay YouTube videos and going on the National Organization for Marriage's "Summer of Marriage," NOM Facebook administrator Louis Marinelli deleted the organization's Facebook page, taking all 290,000 "fans" with it, reports All Facebook.
Marinelli originally launched the Fan page to promote his own initiative, Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman, according to gay rights website GoodAsYou.org. He stayed on as administrator until last Friday, when he submitted his resignation. In a blog post titled "I now support full marriage equality," Marinelli explained why:
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.
Whether it is an issue of disbelief, shame or embarrassment, the one thing that is for sure is that I have come to this point after several months of an internal conflict with myself. That conflict gradually tore away at me until recently when I was able to for the first time simply admit to myself that I do in fact support civil marriage equality.
That's civil marriage, mind you, performed and recognized by the State — as opposed to "holy matrimony," which Marinelli maintains is about a man and a woman. He doesn't mention anything about the enormous tax burden and extra insurance costs gay couples still carry, civil marriage or not.
Marinelli does describe, in emotional detail, an internal journey that began when he met real live homosexuals and lesbians protesting NOM's cross-country campaign against gay rights and could not help but notice they were just as human as he. This fact was reinforced by a online dialogue with a gay rights blogger who contacted him and ongoing conversations with same-sex marriage supporters in another Facebook group.
"I soon realized that there I was surrounded by hateful people; propping up a cause I created five years ago, a cause which I had begun to question," he writes, and one might assume he's referring to NOM, the largest anti-gay marriage organization in the U.S.
Marinelli's blog doesn't go into detail about his Facebook fan page purge, and it appears NOM doesn't use a third-party archival service — and therefore must build its previous 290,000 following back from scratch. At the time of this post, it had around 600 fans.