Posts Tagged: Julia Gillard

Sep 11


David Cameron on the cover of Attitude

If you were surprised that David Cameron, conservative British Prime Minister, has decided to “emphatically support” full gay marriage being introduced in Britain by 2015, you have the facts both for you and against you.

In many ways, Cameron’s conversion is the conversion of millions who have been exposed to the arguments and to gay friends and colleagues over a prolonged period. The change is also special given how far his party has come – putting it well ahead of parties like the centre-left Australian Labor Party, for example.

You can read a detailed account of the Conservative troubled history with gay rights, gay people, and homophobia in “Tory Pride and Prejudice” by Michael McManus.

Aug 11


AME meets Gillard 

In an Australian first, marriage equality advocates have met Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to put their case for reform. 

Attending the meeting were former Australian Medical Association President, Kerryn Phelps and her wife, Jackie Stricker-Phelps, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) national spokesperson, Shelley Argent, Australian Marriage Equality (AME) campaign director, Rodney Croome, and same-sex mental health specialist, Paul Martin.

Professor Phelps and Mrs Stricker-Phelps said they told the Prime Minister about the pain of not having their overseas marriage recognised in Australia and gave her letters written by their children about the need for equality. Professor Phelps said, “I am very pleased we have opened a dialogue with the Prime Minister and hope to continue to talk to her about this issue”. Mr Croome emphasised the importance of marriage equality as a way of promoting inclusion and participation in family life and told the Prime Minister she has a historic opportunity to make Australian a more just and equitable nation. “In response to reports that the Labor Party may adopt a conscience vote on marriage equality before the National Conference has a chance to deal with the issue in December, the Prime Minister gave us an assurance there will be a debate on marriage equality at the National Conference”, Mr Croome said. Mr Martin spoke to the Prime Minister about the link between mental health, internalised homophobia and the inability to marry. “I felt Ms Gillard listened respectfully and seemed to take on board what I was saying. She accepted information about marriage equality and mental health from a recent statement by the American Psychological Association.” 

Said Argent: “I felt Ms Gillard listened … meeting gave me hope that if the (ALP) National Conference is positive on this issue she won’t stand in the way of marriage equality being presented to Parliament.”

Aug 10


It cannot be said that Australians voted for gay marriage on 21 August, but the outcome is indeed good news for equality advocates. While more than 80% of Australians voted for parties (officially) opposed to gay marriage, they handed the balance of power in the upper house, the Senate, to the Australian Greens who were rewarded with record votes.

The Greens will jump from having three senators to eight and hold a crucial vote in the Lower House, which may determine which party forms the Government in the ‘hung parliament.’

If anything, Australians voted against their political class – a group that had collectively produced a farcical campaign in which gay marriage repeatedly featured. They said they didn’t want any one party (including all those opposed to equality) having a ‘blank cheque’ for power. The big question for equality supporters during all the horse-trading over who will form a Government is: will the Greens party hold their line? The Gillard Labor Government desperately needs their vote and the Greens shouldn’t trade it for anything less than a free vote on gay marriage in the next Parliament

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Aug 10


two men kissing

From a straight friend on my Facebook page expressing frustration at why Australia’s major parties will not shift their destructive thinking views on marriage equality: “I don’t know why the two majors think same sex marriage will ruin the fabric of society. I cant imagine a gay man ruining ANY sort of fabric.”

Jul 10


Kylie Minogue the singer

We know her simply as a happy, brave songstress of pop and disco hits from Down Under. But 42 year old Kylie Minogue has been hiding a secret set to shock her millions of fans.

In a move they may alienate the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the 40% of Australians who say they oppose equality, the 20% of Minogue’s fans who are not homosexual and the 10% of Australians who go to church after the Christmas lights are taken down, Minogue has told the million-strong crowd at Madrid Pride and what she really thinks about the radicals pushing for gay marriage:

“Well, I think it should be allowed! I mean, how many countries have caught up with it by now? The earth didn’t cave in. If it’s love, it’s love. And that’s it. That’s all that matters.

Frankly, The Gay Marriage Blog could not have put it better than Britain’s most influential celebrity and Australia’s favourite songstress.

Jul 10


Rodney Croome and Julia Gillard

Rodney Croome and Julia Gillard

This is a very well written piece by Rodney Croome on why it seems inexplicable for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to personally oppose gay marriage in Australia.

It’s especially clever to point out how ridiculous it would be for Australia to refuse to recognise the marriage of the Icelandic Prime Minister if she came to visit (currently her marriage would have to left at border control).

But there is hope – large chunks of the ruling Labor party support equality including Ministers.

The wider point though is that Gillard’s view only tenable because the movement for equality is still too disorganised. It’s a silent majority yet to be tested by rigorous debate. Partly because people like Gillard avoid it; so this tactical position – and that’s all it can be  - may have bought her some time, but sooner or later Gillard will have to confront the fact that this issue drives immense passion and can’t be quarantined. That and the fact that as an atheist, childless, unmarried and obviously left-leaning woman her public position to oppose marriage choice and equality is indeed ridiculous.

These comments here from Penny Wong are just dodging bullets.

Jun 10


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.