22 Jul 2011
The Australian Jewish News Melbourne edition
Kevin Rudd’s sister slammed over slur
JEWISH leaders have criticised Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd’s sister for comparing the gay-marriage lobby to Nazi mass murderers.
In comments made to The Australian last week, Loree Rudd threatened to quit the Australian Labor Party if it backs gay marriage at its national conference in December. The devout Christian also accused some of the party’s members of being brainwashed by a “global gay Gestapo”.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has repeatedly expressed her opposition to same-sex marriage and has indicated her Government will make no changes to the Marriage Act. Nonetheless, many ALP members and supporters are urging her to reconsider her position.
While not weighing into the political debate, the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Australia’s peak Jewish human rights body, called for Loree Rudd to apologise for the comparison between policy advocates and Nazis.
“It is completely unacceptable for anyone to co-opt and trivialise the name of one of the most active and feared arms of the Nazi machinery for their own political purposes,” ADC president Anton Block told the media.
“The Gestapo was directly responsible for the murders of Jewish, Romani, homosexual and disabled people. To use its name in this context shows a level of ignorance and insensitivity that has no place in contemporary political discourse.”
Roy Freeman, founder of J4ME, a Jewish group advocating for same-sex marriage, called Rudd’s comments “offensive and obviously untrue”.
“This kind of language is unacceptable in 21st-century Australia,” he told The AJN. “Those who glibly throw around such comparisons diminish the crimes committed by the Nazis and attempt to demonise the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.”
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff told media, “Drawing a comparison between advocates of gay marriage and the Gestapo is insensitive and counterproductive.”