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Louis Marinelli: NOM wants to paint LGBT “crazy”

NOM Tour Tracker Right-wing

By Adam Bink

This explains a lot of NOM’s attempts to paint LGBT and allied counter-protesters as crazy, unstable people who will put their safety at jeopardy after Providence:

Last fall the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published an updated list of hate groups that are operating across the United States in which they included organizations such as the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. In doing so, SPLC cited multiple occasions when these organizations misrepresented the facts about gays and lesbians in the advancement of their ‘pro-family cause’.

To NOM’s delight, the SPLC did not include the National Organization for Marriage in that list. That was a mistake.

The National Organization for Marriage’s culture war/crusade against same-sex marriage is all about image and when it comes to the image of the LGBT community, it’s all about painting them in a negative way. That is why during the summer for marriage tour, a project of my doing which I organized with NOM last year, each of the rallies were presented in a good v.s. evil type theme.

In Albany, counter-protesters arrived at our rally with rainbow umbrellas and were silent. As you can see from the photo I took, the counter-protesters had their backs to us. They were giving us the silent treatment, so to say, to get their message across. Yet the National Organization for Marriage had this to say about them on their blog:

…they sure showed their true colors as intolerant, inconsiderate bullies who shout down and insult anyone who disagrees with them, including women and children.

Later in that same blog post, they referred to the silent counter-protesters as militant before moving onto the rally that took place in Providence, Rhode Island.

NOM’s summary of the rally in Providence says that the protesters were “crazy”. In all actuality, some of the pictures depicting their actions do make them appear that way and I was directly responsible for taking their pictures, as some of you know.

What you don’t know is that in an e-mail I received from Brian Brown, he essentially instructed me to specifically take ‘crazy’ photos of gays and lesbians. His short and to the point e-mail dated July 19, 2010 wrote:

I need crazy pictures of our opponents.

What is particularly necessary to point out is that his call for ‘crazy photos’ of NOM’s opponents was in response to an e-mail I sent to him six minutes earlier that simply wrote: “Here is a picture of our supporters before the protesters arrived.”

The photo I took showing the size and location of our supporters wasn’t enough. Mr. Brown was dedicated to painting the LGBT community and their supporters as crazy. They used that word themselves in public on their blog! To this day, I still don’t condone the actions that some of the counter-protesters took to stand against us. They were wrong when I opposed marriage equality and still believe so today.

From that point forward my job was, among other things, to take those ‘crazy’ photos that would be used as propaganda against the LGBT community. At least until the propaganda backfired, anyway. Many people who would have otherwise came out to support us, let us know that they were scared of what the counter-protesters might do and decided to stay home the day we were coming to town.


NOM is about deceiving the public about who gays and lesbians are because the longer the public fears them, the longer they will oppose their equality. I fell into that trap and then I came to see gays and lesbians for the people they really are – which by the way, is the exact reason I changed my mind to support marriage equality.

See how it all ties in?

The full post, including e-mail correspondence, can be found here.


  • 1. Rhonda  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    This is not surprising, but thanks for the confirmation, Louis.

  • 2. Ed Cortes  |  April 22, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Ditto with the thanks, Louis!!

  • 3. Sagesse  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Shining the light on what NOM does not want you to see.

  • 4. Kathleen  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:46 pm

  • 5. Straight for Equalit  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm

  • 6. Ann S.  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:52 am


  • 7. JonT  |  April 22, 2011 at 7:38 am

  • 8. Ronnie  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    subscribing…. : / ….Ronnie

  • 9. Mark  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    What about NOM's supporter's sign with the two nooses? If that wasn't crazy, I don't know what was.

  • 10. Kate  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Yeah. We don't have to look nearly as hard as they do.

  • 11. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 22, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Safe Journey Mark and Robert!

  • 12. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Thanks Gregory….we head out in just a few short hours. Just as soon as Robert is done at the oncologist
    (for his last visit for the next 90 days WOOT!!!)
    This time next Friday we will be MARRIED!

  • 13. Sheryl Carver  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Congratulations, Mark & Robert!

    May you have a wonderful wedding & a beautiful life together!

  • 14. Sagesse  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Have a wonderful trip and enjoy your big day, Mark and Robert.

  • 15. Ann S.  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:53 am

    I hope you have a safe trip and a beautiful wedding!

  • 16. AnonyGrl  |  April 22, 2011 at 2:09 am


    Love to both of you as you embark on this new journey that is a continuation of your ongoing journey, and take this new step that is a reaffirmation of all your previous steps together.

  • 17. LCH  |  April 22, 2011 at 2:10 am

    @Mark, Congratulations. May you have fair winds for your journey and fair weather on you wedding day.


  • 18. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  April 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Adding my congratulations. So happy that you are finally going to have your dreams come true.

  • 19. Steve  |  April 22, 2011 at 12:55 am

    They'll say that he wasn't an "official" supporter

  • 20. fiona64  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:32 am

    When it's a right-wing nutjob, it's always a "lone wolf."


  • 21. Lesbians Love Boies  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    It is a bit surprising when they do what they do in the name of Christ. I wonder what they think and what fears they have knowing their judgement day will too soon fall upon them.

    That is, of course, providing they are true believers in their God(s).

  • 22. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 22, 2011 at 12:50 am


  • 23. Steve  |  April 22, 2011 at 12:56 am

    If you believe that a higher being sanctions your actions, there is no act heinous enough to not be justified. It's the definition of immorality.

  • 24. Sheryl Carver  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Unfortunately, LLB, it has been & still is all too common for humans in all societies to use religion as an excuse to do whatever it is they want to do. There is a HUGE difference between people who truly believe & do their best to follow the tenets of their religion &/or moral beliefs & those who merely wear a religion as a disguise. NOMies & their buddies are obviously the latter.

    The former are either already on the side of civil rights or could be if presented with facts. It's very important, if we want to win people in this group, that we do NOT insult their beliefs nor otherwise trigger a defensive reaction. For example, there is a big difference between saying that a particular Christian leader is wrong & why, vs calling all Christians bigots.

    Important Note: I am in NO way saying you, LLB, have EVER done this. As far as I can recall, you have been a voice of reason & respect on this site.

    As I've stated here before, I am not a Christian. I was raised in a Christian household & for various reasons still have a great big hot button when it comes to that particular sect of Christianity. So I try, not always successfully, to be very careful choosing my words when discussing that church's involvement in anti-LGBT activities, whether on this site or in face-to-face conversations with others. It's very hard sometimes, but I think it's worth the effort.

  • 25. Ophian  |  April 22, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I think the truly dangerous aspect of Christianity is that–likie the other Abrahamic faiths–it can very easily focus foremost on dogma. A dogmatic religion draws its ethical conclusions from a priori 'truth'. This discourages believers from actual ethical reasoning based on fact and nuance. This opens the door for individuals with under-developed moral faculties to do massive harm while feeling that they are paragons of virtue.

  • 26. Alan E  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Remember all the speculating we were doing about this tour last summer? That it really wasn't about the tour or their supporters, and was instead meant to demonize gays? Or that they were strategically taking closer and tighter shots of their supporters to make it seem like more people showed up than were actually there? Yeah, this confirms it.

  • 27. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:36 am

    how nice that we do not have to fake support!

    O.T., Alan, related to earlier post, I was in SLC during 2002 Olympics when Pres. Bush's motorcade drove by…more exciting and official-looking than it would seem! thx for pict you posted showing the procession going past your house : )

  • 28. Alan E.  |  April 22, 2011 at 1:48 am

    That wasn't my house. That was outside of work (which is in a fantastic location).

  • 29. JT1962  |  April 22, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Folks, we can all agree and say "Yep, we were right" all day long. The true fact is that NOM uses the same tactic that most people use when they want to control the way people feel about others: FEAR. They play to people's innermost fears about homosexuals and then let the people's feelings of fear do the rest. Problem is, we've got same-sex marriage in a few states and the sky hasn't fallen, the divorce rate hasn't shot up sky high, and people are still able to go about their daily lives without issues. FEAR isn't going to be able to keep winning in this case because the ACTUALITY is able to be seen. FEAR works best when you can't see the object of that fear up close and personal. We've already won. It's just going to take time for them to totally realize that.

  • 30. grod  |  April 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Your comments are insightful. In Canada's 10 provinces and three territories, civil marriage equality is a non-[fearful]issue where it has been in place going on 6 years. The more states were it exists, and the longer it exists, the quicker will be the public opinion shift.

    I encourage you and other readers to adopt this language. I believe it sharpens the distinction between it and religiously blessed marriage, the latter carries preconceived and emotive meaning. G

  • 31. Joel  |  April 22, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Grateful for the update; I'm wondering if this sort of information makes it's way to groups and organizations that define hate groups. Surely these organizations have enough evidence (especially in light of of Louis' epiphany) now to add NOM to their lists.

    I'm not being sarcastic or rhetorical, I'm just curious as to why NOM, which despite it's leaders' message of "protecting marriage", is clearly a hate-based group, has not appeared on these organizations' lists?

  • 32. fiona64  |  April 23, 2011 at 1:45 am

    NOM is on SPLC's "watch list," but had not (as of Winter 2010) been moved to the "known hate groups" list. I will not be at all surprised when they make the jump, myself. They are being carefully observed.


  • 33. Sagesse  |  April 22, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Because they have (at least in the past) kept just enough distance between themselves and the parties actually spewing the hateful messages. They may be known by the company they keep, but have largely stuck to the script.

    Recently the veneer has begun to crack.

  • 34. truthspew  |  April 22, 2011 at 9:20 am

    NOM tried to run with the Providence 'incident' but it fell flat on it's face. And I was glad to see someone get in their face to be honest.

  • 35. Bob  |  April 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

    truthspew, I enjoyed that interaction too, especially because it was BB that looked equally as crazy,,,,, there is a few good shots of BB looking really bad,,,,,,

  • 36. Rhie  |  April 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm


  • 37. MrHotel  |  September 22, 2011 at 5:03 am

    not suprisingly at all. who didnt see this coming? Hotel Nürnberg

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