Conservative radio host Bryan Fischer claimed on Tuesday that the Nazi Party started in “a gay bar in Munich” and only “hardcore homosexual” officers advanced through the ranks of Adolf Hitler’s regime.
Fischer’s remarks were not the first time the host has attempted to draw connections between homosexuality and Nazism. He last fleshed out the questionable claims on the New Year’s Eve edition of his show, Focal Point, during which he claimed he knew the specific gathering place that served as the birthplace of Hitler’s alleged gay party.
“Let’s not forget that the Nazi Party started in a gay bar,” said Fischer. “The Nazi Party started in a gay bar in Munich, Germany.”
Fischer has previously stated that Hitler himself was an “active homosexual.” He also asserted on Tuesday that top Nazis were uniformly passed over for promotions unless they were “hardcore homosexual.”
“Without exception, the officers in Hitler’s private army were homosexuals,” said Fischer. “You had no chance of advancing through the ranks unless you were a hardcore homosexual.”
Seemingly anticipating counterarguments pointing out that Nazis were in fact virulently homophobic, sending large numbers to their deaths in concentration camps, Fischer insisted that only a certain type of gay man was targeted.
“Now, it’s true that Hitler did send homosexuals, even killed some of them, but sent them to concentration camps,” said Fischer. “The ones that the Nazis sent to concentration camps were effeminate homosexuals. They believed in the Greek homosexual idea. The muscular, masculine, male homosexual.”
Fischer also suggested that some gay people dress up in Nazi uniforms during gatherings to commemorate the alleged origins of Nazism.
“In fact, in a lot of homosexual circles, they will dress up in Nazi gear as kind of reminiscent of how the entire Nazi Party got started,” he said.
Fischer discussed his theory after bemoaning Germany’s recent move to ban conversion therapy for minors. The discredited practice, which attempts to convert people from gay to straight, has been dismissed by medical experts as harmful and ineffective. Fischer suggested that banning the debunked therapy is inhumane to young people who want to be “normal.”
“If you want to adjust your sexual understanding, your view of your own sexuality to comport with what is normal and right and healthy and normative, Germany will not let you do it,” said Fischer. “They’re gonna confine you to your sexually deviant lifestyle for the rest of your life.”
In addition to erroneous historical claims, Fischer has also attempted to paint modern day gay activists as “Nazis” who hope to commit genocide against religious people with homophobic views.
“Ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis,” claimed Fischer on a 2011 edition of his show. “Homosexual activists, when it comes to freedom of speech, are Nazi. When it comes to freedom of religion, they are Nazis… They’ll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.”
In 2009, Fischer was hired by the American Family Association (AFA), an organization that has been categorized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was dropped as the group’s spokesman in 2015 after making a series of controversial statements, but continues to write for the group’s blog. His show is also hosted on the group’s radio network, American Family Radio.
LGBTQ media watchdog group GLAAD characterized Fischer’s recent remarks as the latest in a series of “bizarre” comments, while questioning the judgement of anyone remotely associated with the “fringe” radio host.
“Bryan Fischer has been spewing the same bizarre and laughable rhetoric about LGBTQ people for far too long,” said a GLAAD spokesperson in a statement to Newsweek. “But what’s absurd today is that other staff members of the American Family Association such as Monica Cole of the AFA’s One Million Moms Project are willingly associated with his brand of anti-LGBTQ animus.”
“Any listeners, especially those who may have LGBTQ children, family, or coworkers, should recognize that Fischer is someone who earns a pay check for spouting anger about the existence of LGBTQ people and that he’s willing to say anything to get attention in a world that is growing tired of his fringe commentary about LGBTQ families,” the spokesperson added.
Although Fischer is best known for his anti-LGBTQ views, other groups targeted by Fischer have included Native Americans, African Americans, Mormons and Muslims.