Australia’s new Prime Minister confirms opposition to equality

Timothy Kincaid

June 29th, 2010

From the Sydney Morning Herald

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she does not support legalising gay marriage in Australia.

Labor policy on gay marriage will remain the same under her prime ministership, Ms Gillard told Austereo show today.

“We believe the marriage act is appropriate in its current form, that is recognising that marriage is between a man and a woman, but we have as a government taken steps to equalise treatment for gay couples,” Ms Gillard said.

Asked if that was also her personal view, Ms Gillard said it was.

Those steps have a long way to go before they can be considered to have equalized treatment.

Lynn David

June 29th, 2010

That from an atheist?

MIhangel apYrs

June 29th, 2010

it’s a pity then that she doesn’t follow her own opinion to its conclusion, and MARRY the man she lives with, rather than being a whore living in sin.


June 30th, 2010

Interesting – I’ve never come across an atheist who was against gay equality (I’m sure it’s possible, people are wholly unpredictable, but I’m very surprised). I’d be interested in hearing her justification of denying gays equal rights.

Priya Lynn

June 30th, 2010

I suspect she’s saying this not because she believes it but because its politically expedient.


June 30th, 2010

My understanding is that a solid majority of Australians support marriage equality, so what would be the political expediency?

It sounds to me like she’s just towing the Party line.


Priya Lynn

June 30th, 2010

The politica expediency would be toeing the party line as you suggested.

Priya Lynn

June 30th, 2010

TampaZeke, if you could post a link to the poll showing a solid majority of Australians support marriage equality I’d appreciate it.

Timothy (TRiG)

June 30th, 2010

Towing the Party line where? You “toe” the line: it’s a boxing metaphor.


Priya Lynn

June 30th, 2010

Never mind, I found it:

Other Fred in the UK

June 30th, 2010

I would expect political opinion to change fairly swiftly if that opinion poll was regarded as accurate. A change in political leadership may ease such a change as the new leader will probably have fewer words to eat. The fact that the Australian Labour Party is sticking solidly to opposition to same-sex marriage leads me to suspect they doubt the accuracy of that poll. (I did a quick search via Google for other polls of decent quality and found none, if anyone succeeds where I have failed I would be very interested in their results.)

More generally regarding Julia Gillard as the new Australian PM, I would be interested in whether the Federal Government she leads will have a more relaxed attitude to efforts by State governments to recognise same-sex couples. Similarly, if as Labour Party leader, she would be relaxed about the party within individual states supporting such efforts. (I should note that, as I recall, the Australian constitution reserves the definition of marriage for the Federal Government.)


June 30th, 2010

The political expediency by Gillard is to avoid being wedged on the perceived political landmark threshold of marriage equality. There may well be a simple majority polled that favours marriage equality but the ruling Labor party would still find itself having to fight the battle in marginal electorates. So for the party, it’s one less front for them to have to deal with.

It’s all pure political calculation. It has nothing to do with Gillard’s own opinions. Even the out lesbian, senator Penny Wong, parrots the party line on sticking with the status quo of marriage inequality.

The trade off for the principle of social reform by the current administration has been to rectify latent discriminatory language in some 100 or so pieces of legislation. Marriage, it seems, is still regarded as too set about with red flags to touch.

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