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Oregon Family Council Compares Gays to Neo-Nazis

A spokeswoman for the Oregon Family Council is under fire after using an analogy about neo-Nazis while discussing the issue of whether businesses in the state should be required to serve gay weddings.

Teresa Harke, who filed a ballot initiative last week that would give religious groups the right to discriminate against gays, said that forcing Christians to provide services for same-sex weddings would be the same as expecting "a Jewish bakery to serve a neo-Nazi who wanted a cake with a swastika on it." The Oregonian reports:

OregonThat comment sparked a letter from 13 Oregon rabbis as well as leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and the Oregon Area Jewish Committee.

The letter, written by Rabbi Michael Cahana of Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, said the comment was an "insult to the memory of those who perished" in the Holocaust "to use one of history's greatest atrocities to forward your political agenda."

"It really is using an illustration that is so offensive," Cahana said in a telephone interview. "Here you're making a comparison between a hate group that supports the elimination of Jews in the world and a couple that wants to sanctify their marriage."

The Oregon Family Council, in an email from Jack Louman, the group's president, defended Harke's use of the comparison, saying the comments "were made in the context of an example of rights of individual conscience."

A 2014 ballot initiative is in the works that would bring marriage equality to Oregon.  


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  1. The OFC is like a crying baby being carried out of the store. Cry me river losers, the tide has turned. Ha ha ha!

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Nov 27, 2013 10:55:44 AM

  2. The majority of Nazis were Christians.

    Posted by: homer | Nov 27, 2013 11:20:43 AM

  3. In a one party rule state (Nazi) there would not be a Jewish Bakery.
    When is the right wing going to understand the difference between the right and the left - let alone the characteristics of the extremes.

    Posted by: robertL | Nov 27, 2013 11:23:05 AM

  4. It's also incredibly thoughtless and insulting when you consider that gays were one of the targets of the Nazi elimination strategy and most Nazis were Christians.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Nov 27, 2013 11:30:02 AM

  5. I hate to use the word "hate" but I hate evangelical christians and their vile religion. The only good evangelical is a not-breathing evangelical six-feet under.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 27, 2013 11:39:31 AM

  6. I think you have keep in mind that the Christian right believes that Hitler was gay, therefore all Gays are Nazis to them.

    Posted by: 1♥ | Nov 27, 2013 11:42:21 AM

  7. So bigots wanting to use God as their excuse to hate others is just like throwing someone in a convection over until their burnt to a crisp.

    Sorry but the analogy to Nazis would be those right Christians of today.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 27, 2013 11:45:30 AM

  8. The irony that seems lost on everybody is that the gays were in those concentration camps, their uniforms marked with pink triangles, instead of the star of david, right alongside the jews...

    A missed opportunity for sure.

    Posted by: JustSayin' | Nov 27, 2013 11:46:58 AM

  9. I have never seen anyone's comparison to Nazis ever help them, in any circumstance. The second you make that comparison, the discussion turns away from whatever you're discussing and focuses on the impropriety of the comparison.

    Posted by: Matt | Nov 27, 2013 11:50:56 AM

  10. The sensitivity level of Jews and the holocaust is about a hundred times higher than gays and discrimination.

    These idiotic people just keep sticking their foot in it, don't they?

    Posted by: johnny | Nov 27, 2013 11:59:51 AM

  11. They did issue an apology to the Jewish community yesterday. They did not issue an apology to the gay community, though.

    Posted by: Jon | Nov 27, 2013 12:18:36 PM

  12. Typical right-wing fundamentalists - coming right up to the line of Godwinning and then stomping on it.

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Nov 27, 2013 12:49:09 PM

  13. According to most of the people pushing for this marriage ban, Jews and LGBT individuals are going to the same hell.

    Posted by: Tyler | Nov 27, 2013 1:00:08 PM

  14. The Old Testament talked very little about hell. The Jews probably don't believe in hell.
    It was made up by Jesus who himself was likely also a fabrication.

    Posted by: simon | Nov 27, 2013 2:31:27 PM

  15. So in other words she's a stupid fvcking cvnt who has no grasp of history OR logic.

    "People who are seeking legal equality are JUST LIKE people who turned murder into an assembly line!"

    Newsflash, you vapid tw@t, if you open a business you really don't get to choose who comes in the door. If you only want to bestow your "art" upon the faithful at the "Fvcked In The Head Baptist Church" then keep it in your own kitchen.

    Posted by: Caliban | Nov 27, 2013 3:04:23 PM

  16. Just when I think that Evangelicals can't get any stupider, they go and prove me wrong.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Nov 27, 2013 3:06:53 PM

  17. The irony being that this anti-gay hate group also believes that the more than 6 million Jews exterminated in the Holocaust are in "Hell" for all eternity, since they didn't "accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and the one true son of God who is also God Himself"

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 27, 2013 3:18:11 PM

  18. Lets face it, evangelicals, Catholics and most organized religions will never start marrying us in their churches and who cares. Everyone knows they hate us, but we have the constitution on our side (that church and state thing ya know). We're not gonna win that battle so let's stop tilting at windmills and start fighting the battles we can win. Ms. Harke's statement tells you what kind of person she is. So the religious zealots hate us, what's new. We're winning, slowly, but we're winning.
    I'll probably be called naïve or worse, but I'm optimistic.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Nov 27, 2013 4:26:39 PM

  19. There aren't many Jewish bakeries (or obviously Jewish bakeries to be more precise). However, one can easily test the thesis here by ordering such a cake from one. It might not even require a Jewish bakery since I think most places would refuse on political grounds. Can a store refuse service on political grounds? That's a bizarre point in law since there aren't many cases it can apply. The most common cases are ads in newspapers and on TV or radio. There are also I suppose custom T-shirt shops too.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 27, 2013 4:55:28 PM

  20. ABSOLUTELY LOVE the response given by the Rabi! He's exactly right on this!

    Posted by: Dr. Christopher Blackwell | Nov 27, 2013 5:52:06 PM

  21. Except @Anon the thesis isn't a real thesis since refusing to make a particular product (say, a swastika cake, or a penis-shaped cake, or a cake made out pigs' heads) is not the same as refusing to serve a targeted population any cake at all. Presumably, a Jewish baker would refuse to sell a swastika cake to anyone. An equivalent situation would be if a Jewish baker sold swastika (wedding) cakes to everyone but neo-Nazis (gay people).

    Keep on making absurd analogies (hard to top Nazi ones) though, OFC--you do our political work for us!

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 27, 2013 5:58:54 PM

  22. Nope. Neo-Nazis are anti-gay therefore Oregon Fascist Council - I mean "Family" are the ones compared to Neo-Nazis.

    Posted by: Sean | Nov 27, 2013 6:17:04 PM

  23. As I've said before I have no problem with Christians refusing service to me because I'm gay, I just want them to put it in their advertisements and post it on the door so I know not to go into their businesses. And as a purveyor I would know not to serve their needs as well.

    Posted by: Macmantoo | Nov 27, 2013 9:29:22 PM

  24. I think she means a swastika would offend _only_ a Jewish baker, so neo-Nazis, please come to a fundie Christian bakery for your swastika-themed pastries! They'll be happy to serve you IF you're not gay. Obviously, she'd have no need to envision specifically a Jewish baker if she thought a swastika would offend just any ol' baker.

    Posted by: JJ | Nov 28, 2013 12:23:22 AM

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