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21 May 2013

Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd now supports marriage equality

Australian former PM Kevin Rudd, who opposed a 2009 amendment (while he was PM) that would have paved the way for marriage equality, wrote on his blog yesterday that he now supports marriage equality for same-sex couples.

In his post titled Church and State are able to have different positions on same sex marriage, he wrote in part:

"I have come to the conclusion that church and state can have different positions and practices on the question of same sex marriage. I believe the secular Australian state should be able to recognise same sex marriage. I also believe that this change should legally exempt religious institutions from any requirement to change their historic position and practice that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. For me, this change in position has come about as a result of a lot of reflection, over a long period of time, including conversations with good people grappling with deep questions of life, sexuality and faith."

Following a talk with an unnamed former political staffer, a gay Christian who is active in his Pentecostal Church, who told the former PM that he wanted to be married to a man, Rudd said that he rethought the issue and came to a different conclusion:

"And so the re-think began, once again taking me back to first principles. First, given that I profess to be a Christian (albeit not a particularly virtuous one) and given that this belief informs a number of my basic views; and given that I am given a conscience vote on these issues; then what constitutes for me a credible Christian view of same sex marriage, and is such a view amenable to change? Second, irrespective of what that view might be, do such views have a proper place in a secular state, in a secular definition of marriage, or in a country where the census tells us that while 70% of the population profess a religious belief, some 70% of marriages no longer occur in religious institutions, Christian or otherwise."

Rudd added that he had never thought homosexuality to be a "choice" or an "abnormality":

"I for one have never accepted the argument from some Christians that homosexuality is an abnormality. People do not choose to be gay. The near universal findings of biological and psychological research for most of the post war period is that irrespective of race, religion or culture, a certain proportion of the community is born gay, whether they like it or not. Given this relatively uncontested scientific fact, then the following question that arises is should our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay be fully embraced as full members of our wider society? The answer to that is unequivocally yes, given that the suppression of a person's sexuality inevitably creates far greater social and behavioural abnormalities, as opposed to its free and lawful expression."

He also wrote that he disagreed with the arugument that same-sex marriage may hurt children:

"Finally, as someone who was raised for the most important part of his childhood by a single mum, I don’t buy the argument that I was somehow developmentally challenged because I didn’t happen to have a father. The loving nurture of children is a more complex business than that."

He concluded by saying that he "will not be taking any leadership role on this issue nationally." And that his core interest is to be "clear-cut about the change in my position locally on this highly controversial issue before the next election, so that my constituents are fully aware of my position when they next visit the ballot box." He added, "That, I believe, is the right thing to do."


Reader's Comments

1. 2013-05-22 12:26  
Kudos that he is able to put his personal convictions aside and be objective in his approach - which is what many on both sides of the arguement generally fail to do.
2. 2013-05-23 17:32  
with gay members within his own family, I am not surprised that he has made these comments now - better for him to make his personal position clear to everyone before the gay person within his family becomes known to the public - it would be the height of hypocrisy if he had waited for it to become public knowledge
3. 2013-05-24 01:23  
It's always a bit suspect when a politician "evolves" his/her thinking on an issue. Regardless, it's welcome however it comes when it's a change from bigotry against those different from ourselves to more awareness and acceptance that differences are not equivalent to being less deserving of equal rights and protections. So kudos for evolving out of ignorance (on this particular position), Mr. Rudd.
Comment #4 was deleted by its author on 2013-10-24 07:08
5. 2013-10-24 07:26  
prophet that fly to heaven was abnormality
prophet that devided sea was abnormality
because none doing such things
Even, prophets behaviour can be cured.
it is embarrasment to accept that

Why we should accept that prophet?
why we should faith for?
for the shake of heaven?

Why we should go to church hearing hollybook?
children can read and tell us all written in holly book.

many man-woman parents hurt children too.

how to deal with this abnormalities of prophets?
Hollybook created term "faith"
so, you can created term" faith" for homosexually
Even Homosexuality is not imaginary like prophet but real thing
mean Homosexually has stronger reason to be faith.

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