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Pope Francis Compares Anti-LGBTQ+ Discrimination to Nazism

Pope Francis

He called the “persecution of Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies” a “culture of waste.”

Pope Francis has denounced anti-gay discrimination by comparing it to a "culture of hatred" that reminds him of "Nazism".

During the International Congress of Penal Law on Friday, a three-day conference which focuses on the relationship between criminal justice and corporate business, Francis gave a wide-ranging speech in which he said the "persecution of Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies" was a "culture of waste."

"It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism," Francis said, according toReuters. "And I must confess to you that when I hear a speech [by] someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936."

"With the persecution of Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies, today these actions are typical (and) represent 'par excellence' a culture of waste and hate. That is what was done in those days and today it is happening again."

According to Reuters during the 1933-45 Nazi regime in Germany, an estimated six million Jews were killed with LGBTQ+ people and gypsies being among those sent to extermination camps.

The persecution of LGBTQ+ people gave way to the pink triangle, known today as a symbol of gay power and pride, the downward-pointing triangle was sewn onto the shirts of gay men in concentration camps -- to identify and further criminalize them, it was reclaimed in the 1970's by LGBTQ+ rights activists as a form of liberation.

The Pope's comments come in the wake of meeting with Jayne Ozanne, a prominent gay British evangelical Anglican who started a foundation to work with religious organizations worldwide to "eliminate discrimination based on sexuality or gender in order to embrace and celebrate the equality and diversity of all."

During the meeting Ozanne presented the Pope with a study by her foundation on the traumatic effects of conversion therapy.

RELATED |Conversion Therapists Could Face Jail Time Under New German Law

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