Rick Santorum with Bryan Fischer
WATCH: Santorum, Others Invoke Nazis in Opposing LGBT Rights

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com June 24 2014 3:15 PM ET

Some anti-LGBT activists are again invoking Nazi imagery in their tales of perceived persecution, with talk of people being sent to “concentration camps” and becoming martyrs to their faith if they violate antidiscrimination laws.

Friday on Texas-based Raging Elephants Radio, host Claver Kamau-Imani and Texas Values president Jonathan Saenz discussed the case of a Colorado bakery that was fined for refusing to serve a same-sex wedding.

“So the homosexual couple, whether it’s man and man, woman and woman, whatever, they go to this specially created commission to deal with this, file a complaint against the business, and so the commission says ‘No, you’re gonna make this cake, plus, you’re going to go to concentration camp,’ essentially,” Kamau-Imani said. “Is that what you’re telling us, Jonathan?”

“That’s right, that’s right,” Saenz replied, adding that the LGBT rights movement’s goal is “to put people in jail that disagree with homosexual marriage, without question — or the homosexual lifestyle.”

Rick Santorum made similar remarks in an appearance Monday on the American Family Association’s Focal Point radio show, hosted by the virulently antigay Bryan Fischer. Santorum claimed those who oppose LGBT rights because of their religious faith will become “martyrs,” and he alleged, “There was a case in Colorado where someone had to go to a re-education camp.”

Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and Republican presidential hopeful, was on Fischer’s show to promote his movie studio’s upcoming release One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty, due out in September. The trailer to the film uses Nazi imagery as well, with film clips of Nazi rallies and a mention of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s martyrdom for speaking out against Hitler.

Jeff Sheets, president of EchoLight Studios, where Santorum is CEO, attempted to justify the Nazi comparison in a statement to Time. “This example was used to illustrate the extreme consequences that can occur when freedoms begin to erode unchecked,” he said. “The ‘Church’ in Germany sat by as their freedoms and the freedoms of the Jews were restricted. By the time they woke up, it was too late. America is NOT Nazi Germany nor is there an inference in the movie that our government is taking that extremist position.”

Below, you can listen to Saenz, courtesy of Media Matters, and Santorum, courtesy of Right Wing Watch, plus watch the trailer to One Generation Away.