BY NOREEN FAGAN – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard seems to be in favour of ending discrimination against gays, except when it comes to same-sex marriage.


Gillard is quoted in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald: “My position flows from my strong conviction that the institution of marriage has come to have a particular meaning and standing in our culture and nation and that should continue unchanged,” she says.

Gillard’s statement comes a month before the Australian Labor Party’s national conference, where the issue will be addressed. Her announcement is intended to diffuse tensions around the debate at the conference and to garner support for her position, which contrasts party policy. Given her opposition to gay marriage, she would likely vote against it if the Labor Party adopted a conscience vote and a bill were brought before Parliament. 

Opposition to same-sex marriage appears to come from politicians and not from voters. Another article in the Herald states that a recent poll shows 62 percent of voters support gay marriage. 

It is interesting to know that Gillard is the only Labour leader who is against full equality. According to the Green Left, “every current Labor state premier or state opposition leader supports an end to second-class citizenship for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people.”

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