Did The HRC Run Louis Marinelli’s Equality Tour Off The Road?

Get this: after the National Organization for Marriage’s Facebook guy saw the light, quit NOM, and decided to start supporting marriage equality, he announced a summertime nationwide tour to support homo nuptials across the land! But then the HRC decided to kick off their summer tour the exact same week as his. Has the HRC “taken the wind out of Louis Marinelli’s sails” by holding a competing gay bus tour?

Although Steven Thrasher from the Village Voice calls the bus tours “very similar”, that’s hardly accurate. For one, Marinelli’s tour is for marriage equality and the HRC’s tour is for educating residents in anti-LGBT states on queer issues. Secondly, Marinelli’s tour wraps up early September and the HRC’s stops the day before Halloween. Lastly, the tours take completely different paths. In fact, the only cities that both tours will visit are Salt Lake City (HRC visits August 12-14 and Marinelli visits August 19th) and Atlanta (Marinelli arrives August 30th and the HRC arrives October 6th) so there’s absolutely no overlap.

Nonetheless, does Marinelli feel bitter that the potential celebrities and attention surrounding his tour might now get overshadowed by the HRC’s? In short, yes:

Marinelli said:

“By the way, nice name for the tour, HRC. ‘The Road to Equality’ has a nice ring to it and if you need a good graphic for promoting the tour, I put one on the NOME website a week or so ago to promote my marriage equality tour. See the big slide graphic for the equality tour where the flags of each state we intend to visit are? Well, right above that is where you’ll see the green highway signs on one of which is written ‘Road to Equality’. I spent a lot of time on that in Photoshop but [you] can take that, too, if you need it.”

“I understand the HRC has the manpower, resources, reputation and ability to do their tour and do it well. I won’t even contend the fact that they’re tour will likely draw more media attention and more people will likely attend their events and sign up for their newsletter and give their credit card information to a young man or woman walking around with a clipboard soliciting donations. Hey, you need money to get the job done and I fully understand that.”

For the conservative equivalent of the HRC and Marinelli’s dueling bus tours, look no further than NOM’s summer bus tour and Santorum’s Iowa Summer Tour. One is loud, the other is janky.

Apparently political road trips are all the rage this summer.