An Australian cartoon comparing LGBT activists to Nazis has been condemned online.
The illustration appeared in national paper The Australian and showed a group of men dressed in the uniforms of the Nazi SS, in LGBT colours and carrying bats with the words “WAFFEN-SSM” beneath them, ahead of a possible national referendum on same sex marriage.
The image, by controversial cartoonist Bill Leak, was branded homophobic by many.
Leak has previously drawn strident cartoons that have caused upset.
Last month, his cartoon depicting an Aboriginal father not knowing the name of his son was labelled “racist”. Leak was unrepentant and called his critics “sanctimonious Tweety Birds having a tantrum”.
But one person who did not like Peak’s latest cartoon sent a series of tweets that no one could realistically describe as a tantrum.
David Pope, who is the daily cartoonist for The Canberra Times, decided to relate the story of gay artist Richard Grune, who spent years in Nazi concentration camps for his homosexuality.
Pope shared lithographs Grune made after his experience that depicted Nazi attempts to work camp inmates to death.
Pope noted the numbers of gay men who were interned by the Nazis. There are no official statistics on the number of them who died.
Pope shared one of Grune’s artworks called “solidarity”, that shows one man holding another inmate who cannot stand.
In his final tweet, Pope made a withering remark about Leak, saying: “Grune will be remembered long after the world has forgotten Bill Leak.”
Australia is gearing up to vote on same-sex marriage that the ruling Liberal Party has been pushing for.
But the opposition Labor Party has hinted it will block such a vote, arguing the Government should simply legislate for gay marriage without one.
Australia is one of the last countries in the developed world to still only allow marriage between a man and a woman.
A recent poll found 57% of Australians favour gay marriage.