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Religious leaders blast marriage group over Nazi comments

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A group opposing same-sex marriage was asked by religious leaders Friday to apologize over materials that accused same-sex marriage advocates of using the propaganda techniques similar to Nazis during the holocaust, the Star Tribune reports.

Minnesota for Marriage was targeted by a dozen Jewish and Christian leaders at Shir Tikvah in south Minneapolis for materials that try to debunk medical and scientific research that finds gay and lesbian people are born that way, the paper says.

A spokeswoman for the group indicated, however, that the statements came from a separate, affiliate group called Minnesota Pastors for Marriage.

A passage from the material -- a sermon called "Stand for Marriage" -- reads, "They essentially practice Joseph Goebel's Nazi philosophy of propaganda, which is basically this: Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and eventually most mindless Americans will believe it. Hear this: God did not make anyone homosexual."

According to the Star Tribune, Shir Tikvah Rabbi Michael Adam Latz called the material's claim "shocking and appalling and deeply unMinnesotan" and added, "When did you decide to use a sacred text as a weapon of mass destruction?"

Minnesota for Marriage issued a statement saying they "regret" the statement, but did not issue a formal apology.

"Minnesota for Marriage regrets that statements considered by many to be offensive appeared on the website of a separate organization, Minnesota Pastors for Marriage," the group said in a statement. "The aim of Minnesota for Marriage has always been to promote a civil and respectful debate about the nature of marriage."

According to Minnesota Public Radio, the group Minnesota Family Council claims that is is responsible for the material on Minnesota Pastors for Marriage site.

"We regret that a sermon and other materials received from another organization and posted to the Minnesota Pastors for Marriage website were not properly reviewed," said Minnesota Family Council in a statement Friday night. "Some of the views reflected in those documents do not reflect those of Minnesota Family Council, and they have been removed from the website."

As of Friday night, the objectionable sermon was still posted on the Minnesota Pastors for Marriage website.

The Star Tribune says that Minnesota for Marriage was criticized last October as well for references that compared its rivals' efforts on the marriage amendment to the Nazi regime.

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