Did Rudd’s Support of Marriage Equality Hurt Labor?

Kevin RuddGeorge Wright, Labor’s National Secretary has hit back at claims from the Australian Christian Lobby that the party’s support of marriage equality lost them significant votes at the recent federal election.

“I have seen no objective analysis that would support that view,” Wright told The Australian, “Our feedback suggested that a lot of our members and supporters were strongly in favour of the position we took.”

Earlier in the week the Australian Christian Lobby’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton proclaimed that the election result showed that marriage equality was not something that Australian voters were interested in.

“It is clear that changing the definition of marriage is not something that defined the way Australians voted despite Labor’s high-profile campaigning on it and strong support for it in the media,” said Shelton.

Shelton argued that it was time for the country to move on from the debate, but stated that if there is to be continued debate then it should be put to a national referendum.

“Australia has an opportunity now to move on from this debate but if same-sex marriage activists persist in the new Parliament, it should go back to the people again for the ultimate conscience vote in a referendum,” said Shelton.

The ACL also chastised the former Prime Minister for his harsh treatment of Evangelical pastor Matt Prater on the Q&A television program. When the pastor from Brisbane’s New Hop church suggested the Prime Minister did not believe the words of The Bible, Rudd shot back with his own round of biblical quotes.

“Mr Rudd’s bullying of a Christian pastor on Q&A in the final week of the campaign made Australians feel uncomfortable with the consequences for freedom of speech and freedom of belief should the law on marriage be changed,” said Shelton.

It is also understood that some of Mr Rudd’s Labor colleagues are urging him to honor his commitment to introduce legislation regarding marriage equality within the first hundred days of government by bringing in a private members bill from the backbench.

For pastor Matt Prater and other hardline Christians the reason the Labor lost the election is more existential, they have declared that the power of prayer won the election for the Liberal party.

Pastor Prater has said that while Kevin Rudd had tried to “dismiss the words of Jesus”, Liberal leader Tony Abbott’s stand against same sex marriage had created a “miracle”.

“Tony Abbott, said during the Australian Christian Lobby webcast before the election, ‘I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.’ Seven days later God heard our prayers and your prayer and there was a change of government. A miracle has occurred. A victory has been won, but the battle is far from over. We thank you for your continuing prayers.” Mr Prater’s comments were reported on Christian News Wire.

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