The Sidney Morning Herald – July 14, 2011
Gay marriage advocates and Holocaust survivors are demanding an apology from Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd’s sister after she accused some Labor members of being brainwashed by a “global gay Gestapo”.
Loree Rudd is lobbying federal MPs and threatening to quit Labor if the party backs gay marriage at its national conference in December, The Australian reports.
The devout Christian recently wrote to every federal MP voicing her opposition to same-sex marriage.
Four state ALP conferences have endorsed changes to legalise same-sex marriage under federal law. NSW Labor last week refused to back the proposal and referred the issue to the national conference, The Australian said.
Ms Rudd, who said she’d embarked on her campaign without her brother’s knowledge, told the paper there was a worldwide gay movement that “fed propaganda” in pursuit of change.
“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.
The gay marriage lobby group, Australian Marriage Equality (AME), had demanded an apology saying Ms Rudd’s comments will incite hatred.
“Ms Rudd has set back her cause by comparing supporters of civil rights to an organisation that was responsible for mass murder, including the mass murder of homosexuals,” AME convener Alex Greenwich said in a statement.
The comments have also offended Holocaust survivors, including Sydney man Frederick Weisinger, who wrote a submission supporting same-sex marriage to a 2009 Senate inquiry.
“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 in the statement.
Jackie Stricker-Phelps, the partner of former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Stricker-Phelps, said members of her family were murdered at the hands of the Gestapo.
“To compare the work of today’s human rights advocates to the atrocities of those monsters is a shocking indictment on anyone making these claims,” she said in the statement.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday said she did not have any plans to change the marriage act.
The coalition also opposes legislating for same-sex marriage but the Greens support it.