The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has joined Loree Rudd, the sister of former PM Kevin Rudd, in accusing supporters of marriage equality of using Nazi tactics in campaigning for equal rights.

The ACL came to the defence of Rudd after she accused same-sex marriage advocates of being a “Gestapo” – the Nazis’ secret police – in an interview with The Australian newspaper last week.

Rudd claimed there was a worldwide gay network that “fed propaganda” for marriage equality to politicians.

“I call them 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 today, suggesting that supporters of marriage equality needed to learn the lessons 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 Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds museum, which is dedicated to examining “the causes, the context and the consequences of the National Socialist reign of terror.”

Rudd’s comments offended Holocaust survivor and marriage equality supporter Frderick Weisinger.

“I spent three years in a concentration camp as a child, and I am horrified by this comparison between the Gestapo and ordinary citizens like me who just want to be treated equally,” he 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 in large numbers.”

Jewish campaigners for marriage equality said Rudd and Wallace’s comments showed their ignorance.

“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'” said Jewish Community supporting Marriage Equality (J4ME) founder Roy Freeman.

Freeman added that claims by the ACL that the marriage equality lobbyists used the same tactics of “fear and intimidation to silence dissent” as the Nazis did were “offensive and obviously untrue.”

“This kind of language is unacceptable in 21st century Australia. Those who glibly throw around such comparisons diminish the crimes committed by the Nazis and attempt to demonise the GLBT community.”

“J4ME, the Jewish Community supporting Marriage Equality, calls upon Loree Rudd and the ACL to apologise for their comments which have offended both the GLBT community and the Holocaust-survivor community.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Chief Executive Officer Vic Alhadeff condemned the use of Nazi analogies to condemn marriage equality advocates.

“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.”

The Nazi regime murdered tens of thousands of homosexuals through forced labour and in death camps, forcing them to wear pink triangles on their uniforms.

Wallace also decried the use of the term “gay hate groups” by this newspaper to describe the ACL and groups rallying in Canberra next month to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the banning of same-sex marriage in Australia.

Wallace, who said he may speak at the event, was caught on camera in 2009 making the claim that gay men were overwhelmingly to blame for child sexual abuse in churches and schools, while earlier this year he used an Anzac day tweet to lash out at Australia’s gay and Muslim communities.

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