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Interview: How Atlanta changed the heart of gay marriage opponent Louis Marinelli

Louis Marinelli, former NOM strategist, recently came out in favor of same-sex marriage

When the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage brought its “Summer of Marriage” tour to the Georgia Capitol in August 2010, more than 300 counter-protesters gathered across the street to show support for same-sex marriage.

The vibrant counter-protest was a stark contrast to the NOM rally, which drew only about 35 attendees, including the event’s organizers. Among them was Louis Marinelli, a self-described conservative Republican who spearheaded the tour.

On his website, Louis recently came out of his own closet with the revelation that he now supports civil marriage for gay couples.

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New poll highlights shift in marriage equality support

A majority of Americans now support marriage equality for same-sex couples, according to a new poll released by CBS and the Washington Post. Some 53 percent of respondents said they support allowing same-sex couples to marry, up from 36 percent just five years ago.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, responded to the findings by questioning the wording of the questions in the poll.

“The only poll that counts is a free and fair vote on the part of the people,” Brown told the Post. “We’ve seen these biased polls time and time again — right before votes in which same-sex marriage is rejected. It’s absurd. The people of this country have not changed their opinion about marriage.”

Advocates for same-sex marriage disagreed.

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DOMA: Reaction from the left and right

Left

“This is a monumental turning point in the history of the quest for equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”

Jon Davidson, Lambda Legal, Defense & Education Fund

“The president’s leadership on this issue has forever changed the landscape for LGBT people in this country … This is the beginning of the end, not just for the mean-spirited and indefensible Defense of Marriage Act, but for the entire panoply of laws that discriminate against same-sex couples.”

Kate Kendell, National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Sarah Palin chides Obama over DOMA decision

Media personality and possible presidential candidate Sarah Palin

Media personality and possible presidential candidate Sarah Palin responded today to the Department of Justice's announcement that the Obama administration will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

Palin responded to a question from the National Organization for Marriage, which was posted on the group’s blog earlier today.

"I have always believed that marriage is between one man and one woman. Like the majority of Americans, I support the Defense of Marriage Act and find it appalling that the Obama administration decided not to defend this federal law which was enacted with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by a Democrat president. It's appalling, but not surprising that the president has flip-flopped on yet another issue from his stated position as a candidate to a seemingly opposite position once he was elected."

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NOM continues to be a thorn in the side of marriage equality

National Organization for Marriage President Brian BrownThe anti-gay National Organization for Marriage blasted the Obama administration's monumental decision to refuse to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court after it determined the law unconstitutional.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the Department of Justice would not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in two cases where that section of the law is currently under challenge. Section 3 classifies a "marriage" as a union between a man and a woman and a "spouse" as an opposite-sex person.

Brian Brown, NOM's president, called on the U.S. House of Representatives to “intervene to protect DOMA, and to tell the Obama administration they have to respect the limits on their power.”

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NOM’s Maggie Gallagher hits the road against same-sex marriage

Maggie Gallagher, chair of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, has been a busy lady this week. Yesterday, Gallagher testified before the Maryland Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings and will also be in Rhode Island today testifying against same-sex unions.

"Marriage is the union of husband and wife for a reason: these are the only unions that can make new life and connect children in love to their mom and dad,” Gallagher said during her testimony yesterday. “As so many pro-gay marriage voices testified at this very hearing, gay marriage is grounded in the belief that this view of marriage is like objections to interracial marriage — something that should be discarded in law, culture and society."

It’s nice to see Gallagher still using the failed argument that gay marriage will somehow prevent straight couples from having children.

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National anti-gay marriage group claims bias in Prop 8 hearing

The National Organization for Marriage released a statement regarding the federal appeals court hearing on California’s Proposition 8 yesterday, decrying the court panel as biased.

The anti-gay group is up-in-arms over the inclusion of Judge Stephen Reinhardt, whose wife works with the American Civil Liberties Union and has been involved in the case through her role at the ACLU. Reinhardt was one of three judges who sat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals during yesterday's hearing.

"This hearing makes a mockery of the federal judiciary," said Brian Brown, president of NOM, in an internet posting. "Citizens are entitled to a guarantee of impartiality from their judiciary. Yet here we have the spectacle of a federal appeals court justice ruling on a case in which his wife represents a group that is a participant. A cynic would be left to wonder if the fix is in for marriage in the Ninth Circuit."

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‘NOM World’ impersonating anti-gay hate group

The National Organization for Marriage released a warning to its followers today regarding a new online presence from a group calling themselves “NOM World.”

NOM is accusing the fake group of mimicking its logo and misleading its followers. “NOM World” uses the name ‘be4marriage’ on Twitter.

“Please understand that this group is not related to NOM, and is only attempting to confuse and mislead NOM’s followers and potential followers on Facebook and Twitter,” a NOM blog post states. “They are openly in favor of same-sex marriage and accuse NOM of being a hate group.”

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Iowa voters oust justices who allowed gays to marry

Iowa voters removed three state Supreme Court justices who voted in 2009 to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage. According to the Associated Press, it was the first time that Iowa voters had successfully voted to remove a Supreme Court justice.

The National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay group that was formed in response to California’s Proposition 8 battle in 2008, lobbied on behalf of the removal of the justices. NOM, in partnership with Campaign for Working Families PAC and Iowa for Freedom, purchased ads in the state leading up to the election urging voters to remove the justices.

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NOM strategist supports DADT repeal?

Louis J. Marinelli, a strategist for the National Organization for Marriage, posted an interesting message via his Twitter account last night.

NOM strategist supports ending DADT

I’m surprised that someone who works with an organization that actively gathers in protest against same-sex marriage and spent a fortune in California’s Proposition 8 battle would support something so progressive like the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

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By the numbers: National Organization for Marriage

2,000,000 Size of the “army” Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage executive director, claims his group is building to defend  marriage from gay couples. 750,000 The number Brown claims his army is “a...