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Rudd Puts Gay Marriage on the Agenda

Kevin RuddNewly reinstated Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has put marriage equality on the agenda during his first day back in office. On Friday the Prime Minister called for both sides of politics to be allowed a conscience vote on the issue and suggested that the issue could be put to a public vote.

Previously Mr Rudd was against same sex marriage but he reversed his position a few weeks ago. Following his successful challenge for the leadership of the Labor party from Julia Gillard he becomes the first sitting Prime Minister to support a change to the marriage act.

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“Whoever wins the next election, please, let’s just have the civility to open this to a conscience vote for all,” said Mr Rudd at his first press conference after being sworn in, calling for Opposition leader Tony Abbott to change is long held position forbidding Liberal party members from voting for the issue.

Mr Rudd highlighted the concern he has for the gay and lesbian community saying,

“I would like to see this done, and the reason I want to see it done is frankly it causes so many people such unnecessary angst out in Australia, in the gay and lesbian community. It just should not be the case.”

Rodney Croome, Concener of Australian Marriage Equality welcomed Mr Rudd’s comments calling for Mr Abbott to change his stance but was not supportive of the suggestion of a referendum.

“We’re pleased Mr Rudd has re-confirmed his support for marriage equality and we echo his calls on Tony Abbott to allow a Coalition conscience vote so Australia can catch up to our closest allies, including New Zealand, Britain, Canada and the US, by allowing same-sex couples to marry,” Said Mr Croome.

“But we strongly oppose Mr Rudd’s fall-back option of a referendum because it would be expensive, divisive and because politicians are elected to make these kinds of decisions, not handball them back to the electorate.”

Mr Croome suggested that the Prime Minister should form a cross party working group to focus on the issue.

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said Mr Rudd was out of step with Christian values and that Australian’s were looking for a leader who had principles and stuck by them.

Managing Director of the ACL Lyle Shelton said, “After years of defending marriage, it is disappointing that Mr Rudd is now championing its redefinition particularly when less than a month ago he said he wouldn’t be campaigning for it.”

OIP Staff

 

 

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