Senator Penny Wong, who is openly lesbian but had adhered to party policy by declining to publicly support same-sex marriage, broke ranks on Saturday by speaking in favour of a motion which passed by two votes (90 votes to 88).
The Senator was speaking at South Australia's state convention, where she had backed a South Australian branch move to get the Australian Labor Party (ALP) national conference to change their national platform to support the legal right of all couples to be marry.
Both Prime Minister and party leader Julia Gillard, and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott have said that marriage should be limited to unions between men and women.
Her comments add to a chorus of senior Labor figures supporting changing the Marriage Act to remove a requirement limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex.
"I will be advocating for our party to support equality including to in relation to marriage or same-sex couples and I do so because I have a deeply held commitment to equality," she was quoted as saying by the media.
"There has been some commentary which has confused my position of not commenting publicly on this issue with my position on the actual issue itself," she said. "I have had the opportunity to advocate for equality at the highest level of our party and within our party's processes as I do today. And I will do so again at the next national conference."
"I came to this country in the 1970s and like many in this room I do know what it is like to be the subject of prejudice," said the Malaysia-born Wong. "Like many in this room, my personal politics have been cast by the experience of discrimination and a deep belief in the principle of fairness."
Labor's national conference is due to be held early in 2011.
true love with whither away all opposition
We should know and not forget that she has fought hard for many other GLBT issues in the past.
Of course she can be "trusted" , she is openly one of us, has fought hard on our behalf before, and now supporting this issue, and for that, should be appreciated.
In the 11 years of Coalition rule in Australia, not one of the Coalition members of parliaments did anything. John Howard in fact followed George Bush and made sure that the Marriage Act in Australia specifically mention a man and a woman.
Thats what Politicians in a democratic country are there for. To represent their constituents.
So whether by pressure or conscience (and I suspect the latter has had a large bearing) Penny Wong has has decided to publicly speak out and take a stand on this issue.
Just for the record I did manage to find the interview with her:-
""There has been some commentary which has confused my position of not commenting publicly on this issue with my position on the actual issue itself," she said. "I have had the opportunity to advocate for equality at the highest level of our party and within our party's processes as I do today. And I will do so again at the next national conference."" More spin than a Breville mixer.
Anyone who spouts this shyte, like Kevin Rudd himself, is unfit to be trusted or to hold office.
Let's just get the benefits of full equality and civil union registration throughout the country, forget about the name you give the commitment. There's too much in names and buzzwords today. But let us also stay together when married, joined, united, registered or whatever you want to call it- so that we can show straights we are actually more faithful than they are.
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