A religious group in Minnesota issued a public half-apology on Friday for an online posting that accused supporters of marriage equality of practicing the "Nazi philosophy of propaganda," Minnesota Public Radio reported.
It its statement, Minnesota for Marriage said it "regrets that statements considered by many to be offensive" appeared on the website of Minnesota Pastors for Marriage, a faith-based coalition seeking to ban marriage between LGBT couples.
"Although Minnesota for Marriage is not responsible for the content of that website, nor the content on the websites of other supportive coalition members, we nevertheless regret any hurt those statements have caused," the statement said.
According to WCCO-TV, the post, called a "sermon starter," accuses the LGBT community of using "biased and discredited studies" to promote an agenda.
"They essentially practice Joseph Goebel's [sic] Nazi philosophy of propaganda," the post said, misspelling the name of Joseph Goebbels. "Which is basically this: Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and eventually most mindless Americans will believe it."
The remarks were rebuked by Jewish community leaders.
"The introduction of Nazi labels and comparisons into the American political debate sends a collective chill up the spine of the Jewish community," said Karen Yashar of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.
Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United, which supports marriage equality, said in a statement on Thursday that the "sermon starter" was not a unique incident.
"This is the second time in less than six months that spokespeople for Minnesota for Marriage have compared our respectful conversation and the loving and committed relationships of same-sex couples to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany," he said.
The Minnesota Family Council, which was responsible for the post, released a statement on Friday saying it had been removed from the website, while seemingly attacking same-sex marriage supporters of using it as a distraction.
"This attack by Minnesotans United on marriage has very little to do with an ill-advised quotation but rather the continued assault on the religious liberties of pastors to proclaim the full counsel of God about marriage in their pulpits," pastor Jeff Evans said in the statement.
Watch WCCO's report on the offensive statement, aired on March 29, below.
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