Pro-gay marriage leader apologizes for ‘Nazi’ comments

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A religious outreach official for a campaign seeking marriage equality for gays in Minnesota apologized for likening opponents’ tactics to those of the Nazis.

“It was a terrible mistake to even mention Nazism in an attempt to illustrate my point, and I fully understand why many found it to be offensive,” the Rev. Brad Brandon said in a statement first published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Oct. 24.

In an earlier presentation on behalf of an amendment that would legalize gay marriage, Brandon said he was not drawing analogies between his opponents and the Nazis, but added: “What we are simply saying is that when a totalitarian dictator takes place and wants to suppress the voice of a group …. they use certain tactics.”

Opponents of the amendment solicited condemnations of the comments from other religious leaders.

Among these was a statement from Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman of Temple Israel in Minneapolis.

“Comparing our deeply held religious beliefs to the genocide committed to our people by Adolf Hitler in Germany and the Nazis is not only hurtful, but it stops any civil discourse engaged in our state,” she said, according to the Star Tribune.

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