The National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) 23-city anti-gay marriage tour will end on Sunday as gay marriages inch closer to resuming in California.

While traveling on the bus over the past 30 days campaigning against the legalization of gay marriage, one of the two bans that NOM helped put in place has come undone.

Out of the gate, the Summer for Marriage Tour 2010 hit a major road block in Rhode Island, where NOM clashed with counter demonstrators at an event staged on the Statehouse lawn. Advocates for gay marriage attempted to shout down NOM's speakers by chanting, “Get your hate out of our state.”

But battles became fewer and farther between after the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, said it believed the tour was designed to incite loud protests, not promote heterosexual marriage.

Fred Sainz, vice president of communications and marketing at HRC, said gay marriage foes were on the hunt for evidence of ill-behaved protesters to boost its case against proponents of gay marriage. Such evidence could help several ongoing lawsuits that claim opponents of gay marriage face threats of violence and intimidation, and their identities need to be legally shielded.

In Iowa, the only Midwest state where the institution is legal and where the debate is red hot, activists deliberately staged their counter demonstrations miles away from NOM events.

A sign calling for violence against gay men and lesbians at an Indianapolis stop brought the tour some negative press.

The sign featured two nooses along with the caption “The Solution To Gay Marriage” in red.

“The Bible says the last days men's minds will get confused,” Larry Adams, the owner of the sign, said in an interview posted on the website “I'm trying to tell them the right thing out here because I care for them and I don't want 'em to go to hell.”

Speakers on the tour spent much of their time trying to flip the script on gay marriage advocates by attempting to hijack their civil right argument.

“We've taken great pains to make clear what we are all about,” NOM President Brian Brown said in St. Paul. “We view ourselves as a new civil rights movement. … Committed to something that in the 1960s was key: the right to vote.”

NOM's board chair, Maggie Gallagher, at a stop in Charleston declared: “Same-sex marriage is not a civil right – it is a civil wrong.”

In the final days of the tour, NOM speakers turned to events unfolding in California, where a federal judge had struck down the state's gay marriage ban put in place with the help of NOM and its supporters.

Gallagher blasted Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

“Here we have an openly gay federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution,” she said in a television appearance.

“Judge Walker's ruling is more evidence he is not a neutral referee, he's an activist on this issue,” Brown said on the group's website, referring to Walker's denial of a permanent stay on his ruling.

The bus docks in Washington D.C. for its final rally on Sunday at the U.S. Capitol.