Australian Christian lobbyist compares equal marriage to the Holocaust

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The head of Australia’s largest Christian lobbying group has appeared to compare the equal marriage movement to Nazi Germany.

Lyle Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby made the shocking claims in a blog hitting out at the debate around same-sex marriage in the country.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has promised a vote on equal marriage before the end of the year, despite bitter dissent from his own MPs and anti-LGBT lobbyists.

Shelton warned: “Changing the definition of marriage to entrench motherless and fatherlessness in public policy and teaching our kids their gender is fluid should be opposed.

“The cowardice and weakness of Australia’s ‘gatekeepers’ is causing unthinkable things to happen, just as unthinkable things happened in Germany in the 1930s.

“Perhaps we have moved beyond cowardice to complicity.”

He added:  “Now I know some of my friends in the gay community will be saying ‘there Shelton goes again – comparing us to Nazis’.

“Not so, the issues Australia faces are bigger than the rainbow political agenda.”

The lobbyist insisted he is “not saying people who dissent to today’s cultural and political orthodoxy are about to be arrested by thugs wearing jackboots” – but despite his attempted mitigation, campaigners were shocked by the comments.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson Shirleene Robinson said: “Everyone is entitled to their point of view and to have their voices heard in our national conversation about marriage equality.

“We must however remember that as we discuss marriage equality that we are talking about real people, members of our families, our friends and neighbours and our tone and language must respect their dignity.

“Words can inflict terrible harm sometimes and we would ask that people of all opinions remember that. The use of intemperate language can cause deep hurt among LGBTI people and their families.

“It’s important that we have an open and positive discussion about why marriage matters to all Australians.

“Our Australian values are based on a fair go and respect for all and it’s important that these values underpin the national conversation on marriage equality.”

The comments have also been condemned by Jewish groups.

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