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Apology demand spreads
Loree Rudd has continued to refuse to apologise for calling marriage equality advocates a “Gestapo” despite criticism by Australia’s Jewish community, while the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has pulled out of a public debate after making its own Nazi analogy.
In an interview with The Australian newspaper, Ms Rudd, the sister of former prime minister and current foreign minister Kevin Rudd, claimed there was a worldwide gay network that “fed propaganda” for marriage equality to politicians.
“The global gay Gestapo — it is the lobbying movement that is brainwashing people, particularly the young in the community that this [homosexuality] is an optional extra in life,” she said.
ACL managing director Jim Wallace continued the theme on Friday by suggesting marriage equality advocates needed to learn from the horrors of Nazi Germany.
“I suggest Loree Rudd’s opponents visit the museum in Nuremberg and see how important it is that these deplorable tactics be opposed,” Wallace said, referring to Nuremberg’s Nazi Party Rally Grounds museum which is dedicated to documenting “the National Socialist reign of terror”.
After this newspaper characterised the ACL as a hate group, Wallace said he would no longer participate in a University of Tasmania debate on same-sex marriage in protest at “demonisation tactics by gay activists in pursuing their agenda”.
Wallace has in the past claimed that gay men are to blame for child sexual abuse in churches and schools. Earlier this year he used an Anzac Day tweet to lash out at the gay and Muslim communities.
Ms Rudd’s comments were deplored by same-sex marriage campaigners, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the national Jewish Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), and Holocaust survivor Frederick Weisinger, who is a marriage equality supporter.
“I am horrified by this comparison between the Gestapo and ordinary citizens like me,” Weisinger said.
“Before she makes such offensive comments, Ms Rudd should read about the horrors perpetrated by the Gestapo — particularly how it hounded, persecuted and killed homosexuals.”
“Loree Rudd’s comments betray her unforgivable ignorance of Nazism and her loathing and lack of empathy for the GLBT community as well as for the victims of the Nazis,” Jewish Community supporting Marriage Equality (J4ME) founder Roy Freeman said.
He said ACL’s claims that marriage equality lobbyists used the Nazis’ tactics of “fear and intimidation to silence dissent” were “offensive and obviously untrue”.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff condemned the thoughtless use of Nazi analogies.
“Drawing a comparison between advocates of gay marriage and the Gestapo is insensitive and counterproductive,” Alhadeff said. “The thoughtless use of Nazi and Holocaust analogies in intelligent and informed discourse is completely inappropriate and unjustified.”
ADC chair Anton Block called for an apology.
“It is completely unacceptable for anyone to co-opt and trivialise the name of one of the most active and feared arms of the Nazi machinery for their own political purposes,” Block said.
“To use its name in this context shows a level of ignorance and insensitivity that has no place in contemporary political discourse. It is highly offensive, and we call upon Ms Rudd to apologise immediately and unreservedly.”
The Nazi regime murdered tens of thousands of homosexuals through forced labour and death camps, forcing them to wear pink triangles on their uniforms.