This day, a fickle October Monday in Minnesota, may have begun with the news of the unbearable victimhood of a M4M billboard being pink paint balloon bombed, with City Pages' Aaron Rupar reporting Uptown 'Vote Yes' billboard is vandalized, MN for Marriage draws absurd conclusions.
But it's ending with M4M deputy director Andy Parrish apologizing for the group director of church outreach telling small groups that anti-amendment advocates use techniques similar to Adolph Hitler.
And to so get back on message.
Rachel Stassen-Berger reports in Marriage amendment supporters apologize for Hitler references:
The group pushing the marriage amendment apologized Monday after its director of church outreach told at least a couple small groups that the other side is using techniques similar to Adolph Hitler.
. . . At an event recorded by the rival campaign, the Rev. Brad Brandon tells a group in Brainerd that Hitler suppressed religious freedom and that religious freedom is at stake in the marriage fight.
“We’re not saying that one side or the other is equal to Adolph Hitler and the atrocities that were committed in Nazi Germany,” Brandon said during a presentation that included a huge picture of the German ruler. “What we are simply saying is that when a totalitarian dictator takes place and wants to suppress the voice of a group…. they use certain tactics.”
The informational sessions were recorded and shared by Minnesotans United for All Families, the lead group trying to defeat the amendment.
. . . A couple weeks before the Brainerd event, Brandon made a similar pitch at a public seminar in Woodbury, which was attended by at least two other Minnesota for Marriage staffers, including its communication director.
“Adolf Hitler stepped in and said, ‘You know what this is a socialist country and what we need to do here now is have the government be in the control and make decisions for those businesses,'” Brandon said on a separate recording. “Now remember, he did all of this in the name of equality."
After being contacted by the Star Tribune, Parrish said they have instructed Brandon to get back on message. Parrish said he had not previously reviewed or approved Brandon’s speech.
Brandon’s discussion about Hitler “is not representative about how we feel about the other side,” Parrish said. “Pastor Brandon is going to get back on message that kids need a mom and a dad and why marriage is worth preserving.”
The revelation that a Minnesota For Marriage (M4M) speaker has publicly shown compares the situation of anti-gay Christians with Holocaust victims should come as no surprise to those following the long arc of the discussion of human rights.
And the career of Pastor Brad Brandon. Nor is this the first time that Brandon's connection with M4M has been questioned. Back on July 19, 2012, LGBTQ blog Good As You wrote in Is MN For Marriage campaign about comparing gays to alcoholics, pedophiles & Hitler? Because someone on its payroll has:
Back when he was appearing on the National Organization For Marriage's summer tour, this site dug up audio in which Pastor and local radio host Brad Brandon compared "Satan-influenced" gays to alcoholics, pedophiles, and Hitler, before then saying that we have to "get [gays] saved and get 'em out of that lifestyle." Audio that our pals at Think Progress then put into a handy YouTube video:
Good As You went on:
So I have to wonder:why is the Minnesota for Marriage campaign, an effort supposedly focused only on civil marriage, compensating this same Brad Brandon to the tune of $3,000?
SOURCE: [MN Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board]
Are they prepping an ad featuring Brandon? Is he doing paid outreach work? Something else? Only MN For Marriage knows for sure.
And on October 10, GAY's Jeremy Hooper wrote in Meet Brad Brandon, MN For Marriage's paid church voice #MNUnited:
So not only do we have yet another example of a campaign against civil marriage thumbing its nose at any separation between personal faith views and shared public policy, but here we have it coming from a person who leaves not one shred doubt about where he stands on gays (like alcoholics and pedophiles) or what his endgame his (getting gays "out of that lifestyle"). This is what MN For Marriage is recruiting!!
Then again, this Minnesota fight is one that has roots in Michele Bachmann, someone who has said homosexuality is "part of Satan I think" and compares lawmakers who don't support marriage amendments to soldiers who missed Pearl Harbor's warning signs. Perhaps the bigger surprise would be them confining this conversation to the civil policy realm where it belongs.
Go check it out, and google a bit yourself. Bran Brandon should be no stranger to the Twin Cities media or local socially conservative Republicans. Back in 2010, Hart van Denbrug wrote Rev. Brad Brandon wants his GOP endorsements to be tax exempt.
Moreover, M4M communications director Chuck Darrell also knows Brandon's history of making controversial statements about gay folk assaulting his sensibilities. Andy Birkey reported in Pastor says Minnesota gays teach kids how to masturbate:
In one of the more bizarre speeches at the Minnesota Family Council’s rally for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, Hastings Pastor Brad Brandon said he saw “homosexuals” teaching children how to masturbate in the rotunda at the State Capitol a few weeks ago. A check of news clips and Capitol schedules by TheColu.mn did not turn up any such event.
Brandon, a young pastor from the Hastings area, was among several dozen people who showed up for the rally on Thursday afternoon. He fired up the crowd by saying that homosexuals teach kids to masturbate.
“We as Christians, as followers of the lord Jesus Christ, we need to be bold in such a time as this,” he said. “This is an assault on our culture and I don’t think god takes it very lightly when we mess with the image of Jesus Christ.
. . . .Brandon’s was among several other speeches at the Capitol. Here are some highlights.
The Minnesota Family Council’s communications director, Chuck Darrell: “God’s design is for marriage between a man and a woman.” . . .
Once ridiculed as sissies, queer folk are the new Nazis simply by dint of their unwillingness to cower in the back of the closet with moth balls and monsters. Folks like Brandon, however, are simply victims who forget to stay on message.
Photo: Not only are LGBTQ folk not nazis, they were among the victims of Hitler's most inhumane policies; the story of the pink triangle relates and commemorates this chapter in LGBTQ history. In recent Minnesota history, the pink triangle also played a part in the retirement of Representative Arlon Lindner.