On election day four states will be voting on marriage. Three — Washington, Maine, and Maryland — will be voting on whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage, but one, Minnesota, will be voting on whether or not to enshrine discrimination in their constitution and permanently ban same-sex marriage via a an amendment re-writing their constitution.
Needless to say, there’s been a tremendous amount of hate generated in Minnesota, by the NOM-funded anti-gay marriage group, Minnesota for Marriage. Regular readers are familiar with the Orwellian double-speak videos the group regularly releases, starring former journalist Kelly Yanta.
Pastor Brad Brandon, who is Minnesota for Marriage’s “pastoral outreach director,” was filmed last week — at what was billed as a public discussion presenting both sides of the marriage debate — likening gay marriage to Nazi Germany, and adding that if Minnesota does not pass the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, those who oppose same-sex marriage will be forced into silence.
Minnesota for Marriage, rather than offering a straight apology, is defending Pastor Brad Brandon’s Hitler point as “absolutely correct,” even if his words were ”an incorrect choice,” and claims Brandon’s Hitler reference was taken out of context and misunderstood.
KMSP-TV notes the “Hitler reference was used during three separate presentations” in separate Minnesota towns.
“Pastor Brad Brandon was confronted about his statements at a forum in Brainerd last week over an analogy he made about Hitler’s attempts to suppress religious freedom, telling several small groups that gay marriage supporters were using similar techniques,” KMSP-TV, the local Fox News affiliate reports:
Brandon seemed to claim that critics of gay marriage would be silenced, saying, “[Hitler] removed their voices in the public square and removed their control of their own businesses. So, he stopped Jewish people from speaking out in public and he silenced them.”
Many of the irked audience members said they were told the presentation would be a bipartisan discussion. One woman whose grandparents survived the Holocaust took particular exception to the comparison, and she didn’t hold back.
“…That you not belittle the death of 6 million Jews by putting Adolf Hitler’s picture and saying he took people’s civil rights,” she said. “No — he was an insane murderer.”
A spokeswoman for Minnesota for Marriage said the reference was taken out of context or misunderstood, explaining that Brandon was trying to say that critics of gay marriage could be silenced if the amendment fails.
“He’s apologized and he’s apologized on behalf of the campaign. His point was absolutely correct; he was just using a poor analogy and an incorrect choice of words to make his religious liberties point,” Autumn Leva said. “He’s been instructed to no longer compare the loss of religious freedoms to Hitler and Nazi Germany.”
Deputy Campaign Manager Andy Parrish had previously claimed Brandon’s remarks were not sanctioned by the campaign and that he’s been instructed to get back on message; however, the Star Tribune reported that Brandon made a similar pitch at a public seminar in Woodbury where at least two other Minnesota for Marriage staffers were present.
FOX 9 News also learned that a presentation in Bemidji also contained similar rhetoric, and Minnesota for Marriage’s communications director was at the first event when the comparison was made.
“This wasn’t an accident,” argued Pastor Grant Stevensen, a faith director for Minnesotans United for All Families. “It wasn’t a slip off the track. It was dead core to the center of the message they were trying to convey to the people who had gathered at this event.”
These aren’t the first controversial comments Brandon has made either. He is widely quoted as saying that homosexuals teach children to masturbate.
Jeremy Hooper at Good As You has done a great deal of research on Pastor Brad Brandon:
Brad Brandon has compared “Satan-influenced” gays to alcoholics, pedophiles, and Hitler, as well as proclaimed a great need to “get [gays] saved and get ‘em out of that lifestyle.”
Minnesota for Marriage staffers have made several appearances on Brandon’s now-defunct radio show. They have paid him thousands to do church outreach. But now, rather than take responsibility for what they’ve been recruiting, they are offending all Minnesotans by claiming something fishy is going on with those who brought this harsh vision to light.
Those of us who fight the all-too-reliable extremism are very used to this. Doesn’t make it any less offensive.
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