On Monday, ThinkProgress spoke to National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) Brian Brown at the FAMiLY Leader’s Presidential Lecture Series with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Brown said that NOM was “helping sponsor” the events, but — like Bachmann — would not endorse the group’s controversial view that homosexuality was akin to second hand smoking:
VOLSKY: One of the things that the FAMiLY Leader has come under fire for is arguing that homosexuality is a health risk. They’ve likened it to second hand smoke. What’s your view on all that?
BROWN: Again, people can have different opinions about the nature of homosexuality, what its effects are. Our focus at the National Organization for Marriage is directly on the marriage issue. There are people who are openly gay that support our position….but what we do is bring all of those people together under one umbrella to support marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Brown then went on to say that he receives emails from gay people all the time, saying that they oppose their own right to marry. Watch it:
Brown also responded to the recent declaration of NOM strategist and organizer Louis Marinelli that he now supports same-sex marriage. Describing Marinelli as “a bus driver” who “was never an employee of NOM,” Brown said, “people can choose what position they want on marriage. The bus driver on tour has decided that he would like to redefine marriage. This is a free country and we’re going to continue. It has very little effect on us. We’re going to continue standing up for marriage.”
Since defecting, Marinelli — who actually worked as a contractor for the group and had originated the marriage tour idea — has begun raising money for the Courage Campaign and has forced the group to establish a new Facebok page.