The group pushing to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota is criticizing rivals for handing out sample sermons that compare the tactics of the other side to the Nazi Germany propaganda machine.
"This is the second time in less than six months that spokespeople for Minnesota for Marriage have compared our respectful conversation ... to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United. “Sending this appalling comparison out during Passover and as we approach Easter makes it even more hurtful to people of faith.”
A spokeswoman for Minnesota for Marriage, the group trying to block legislators from legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, called the issue a "smoke screen" by the other side.
"This is simply a desperate attempt to distract Minnesotans in order to convince them that children don’t really need a mother and a father," said Autumn Leva, a spokeswoman for Minnesota for Marriage. "This distraction just exposes the fact that they have been saying the people of Minnesota have given them a mandate to legalize gay marriage, when all the polls show that they didn’t."
Minnesota for Marriage is urging pastors to preach Sunday against same-sex marriage.
To assist religious leaders, the group's allies prepared a “sermon starter” designed to touch on key arguments against same-sex marriage.
Some of the material quotes Bible verses claiming same-sex couples are “detestable,” “an abomination” and an attack on children and Christians.
The material also tries to debunk a body of medical and scientific research that shows gay and lesbian people are born that way.
“They essentially practice Joseph Goebel's Nazi philosophy of propaganda, which is basically this: Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and eventually most mindless Americans will believe it," the material reads. "Hear this: God did not make anyone homosexual.”
In October, Minnesota for Marriage endured a wave of criticism after the Rev. Brad Brandon, a religious outreach staffer for Minnesota for Marriage, compared rivals’ efforts on the marriage amendment to the Nazi regime.
At the time, Minnesota for Marriage representatives quickly apologized and said that Brandon’s statements did not reflect how the group felt about the rival campaign or gays and lesbians.
These new documents “directly contradict the apologizes made by Minnesota for Marriage … and seriously call into question their motivation for so vehemently opposing the freedom to marry in Minnesota,” Carlbom said.
Leva said this is the kind of attack on religious freedom that people can expect if same-sex marriage is legalized.
"The reality is that there are many, many people of faith who believe based on teachings from the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, and other religious texts that marriage is between one man and one woman," Leva said. "This attempt to discredit Minnesota for Marriage is really a looking glass that allows Minnesotans to see that those attempting to force gay marriage on this state do not, in fact, care about people's deeply held beliefs."