BIRMINGHAM, UK — The former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, warned an audience at an anti-gay marriage rally in Birmingham on Monday that “Britain risks becoming a totalitarian state as a result of gay marriage, and could go the way of Nazi Germany.”
“Remember that the Jews in Nazi Germany, what started it against them was when they were called names, that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state,” he said. “Why does it feel to us that our cultural homeland and identity is being plundered?”
Carey said that Christians have been “too timid” in their opposition to the government’s plans, and cautioned that same-sex marriage would create circumstances for other forms of “non-traditional” martial arrangements, specifically Mormon-style polygamous relationships. He cited the example of an application pending in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for a man to enter into a civil union with two women.
“That is getting into a Mormon-style relationship,” he said, “It’s part of a slippery slope where the unintended consequences could be shocking.”
Nearly a thousand Conservatives attended the afternoon rally against same-sex marriage, which coincided with the Tory party conference. As 7 out of 10 local Conservative party chairmen want Prime Minister David Cameron to drop plans to have the government legalize marriage for same-sex couples, Carey alleged that British lawmakers were trying to “plunder” the institution of marriage.
“It’s like annexing what was regarded as specific to make and female relationships,” he said. “Same sex relationships are not the same as heterosexual relationships and should not be put on the same level.”
Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall UK, Britain’s largest LGBT equality rights organization, said “gay people remember all too well what happened in the Holocaust.”
“The fact that Lord Carey is making such distressing comments rather suggests he knows he hasn’t any good arguments against equal marriage,” said Summerskill.
Peter Tatchell, coordinator of the Equal Love campaign and Director of the human rights organization, The Peter Tatchell Foundation said that “staging a rally in support of anti-gay discrimination reawakens fears that the Conservatives are still the nasty party.”
The issue of same-sex marriage has been a source of deep division within the Conservative Party, whose leadership has sought to embrace its LGBT members and shake off the legacy of its prior legislation that are viewed as anti-gay.
Senior party officials, including the Prime Minister, have forcefully set out the case for same-sex marriage. However within the party conference this week, opponents have been very active with a poll of local Tory party chairman that showed that 71 percent oppose the plans to legalize same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom.