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.
Marinelli writes about how, during the "Summer for Marriage" tour, he met LGBT people who just wanted to be treated equally and be able to live their own lives the way they wanted to; later, when looking at his own Facebook page, he realized how hateful the people who were against marriage equality were. I've been to his Facebook page (I've also been banned from his Facebook page), and I can tell you that there are, in fact, some incredibly hateful individuals trolling that page - and I was banned simply for saying I disagree with them, and that being gay is not a choice.
Marinelli has since reformed his Facebook page, came out in support of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and now supports civil marriage for gay couples (he makes the distinction between civil and holy matrimony, and I agree with him when he says that churches should be allowed to decide whether they want to marry gay couples, but not the government). He strongly concludes:
My name is Louis J. Marinelli, a conservative-Republican and I now support full civil marriage equality. The constitution calls for nothing less.
We often talk about how people who know someone who is gay are more likely to support gay rights. Marinelli's change of heart perfectly exemplifies that concept: in meeting the gay people he has spent so much of his life trying to oppress, he was finally able to open his eyes and see that we are people, and that we do deserve to be equal.