A spokeswoman for an Oregon group opposed to gay marriage has angered Jewish leaders in the state.

Teresa Harke, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Family Council, explained in comments to The Oregonian the rationale behind a proposed referendum which seeks to allow individuals and businesses to refuse participating in or supporting same-sex unions, including marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships, if those go against their religious beliefs.

“Would you expect a Jewish bakery to serve a neo-Nazi who wanted a cake with a swastika on it?” Harke asked.

“It really is using an illustration that is so offensive,” Rabbi Michael Cahana of Congregation Beth Israel told The Oregonian. “Here you're making a comparison between a hate group that supports the elimination of Jews in the world and a couple that wants to sanctify their marriage.”

Cahana also wrote a letter signed by prominent Jewish leaders condemning Harke's comments as “an insult to the memory of those who perished” in the Holocaust.

Oregon Family Council is the Christian conservative group that spearheaded the 2004 campaign that led to passage of the state's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.

Marriage equality supporters hope to qualify a referendum to repeal the amendment and legalize such unions next year.

Harke has previously said that her group over the next year would focus its organizing on passage of the religious exemptions measure.