Ralph Reed, the founder of the Republican Faith and Freedom Coalition, has claimed that same-sex marriage and slavery are “similar”.

According to Yahoo, Reed made the comparison between abolitionists and people who oppose same-sex marriage at the group’s ‘Road to Majority’ conference.

He said of the abolitionists: “The battle looked like it was lost, but it really wasn’t, and that’s kind of like where we are right now.

“Anybody heard lately that we’re losing the marriage issue? Anybody heard that argument? You notice some similarities?

“I’m not comparing slavery to same-sex marriage, OK? I’m just pointing out that when you have these fights, what’s interesting is that if you look at same-sex marriage, it’s now legal in 17 states.”

“Only six of them, six out of those 17, six out of 50 states, had done it by referendum or by state legislature. In every other case, it was imposed by courts.

“Just like the courts had to impose Dred Scott [which upheld slavery laws].

“They couldn’t do it on the country because the country didn’t agree with it. The country, by the way, doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage.”

The conference attracted criticism online yesterday for featuring Barack Obama urinal cakes, which commenters have deemed “disrespectful”, “racist” and “un-Christian”.

Reacting to the urinal cakes, White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer joked: “Totally uncalled for: Those ears are huge.”