Disappointing comments from a politician I admire greatly, the new Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard. Gillard today said she would not change government policy to support gay marriage.
It sounds like a touch of the ‘Hilary Clintons’ to me; I don’t believe for one second that Gillard opposes equality in her heart or her head. Her party faction overwhelmingly supports it and she’s from a non-traditional family herself (unmarried, no children). This isn’t Gillard-specific, I think others like (out) Senator Penny Wong also support equality but just refuse to say it out of misguided party loyalty. These comments here from Penny Wong are just dodging bullets rather than actively supporting inequality. It comes out all mangled as a result.
Gillard’s words today show that us Christian activists are more organised than gay and lesbian ones. While Gillard is disappointing us with these comments, it is also an indication that the support base for equality is too weak. 55 to 60% of Australians say they support equality, but Gillard clearly doesn’t believe this is a rock solid support base.
Gillard is being timid, but she has a point. The truth is that we haven’t done enough either to build that support base or prove that it is rock solid. Australian equality activists are not yet matching the smaller louder Christian voices.
So I urge activists to take Gillard words as a challenge, and not just an excuse to hate another politician.
Remember – if we can convince a tabloid and talkback journalist like Derryn Hinch to support equality, then we can convince Julia Gillard too.
If we want marriage equality in Australia we really have to fight for it and organise it and pay for campaigns to convince Australians of the merits of equality. Just asking the Labor party to roll over clearly doesn’t work, and hating them for that will not bring us equality.