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Australian PM Kevin Rudd comes out in support of gay marriage

Rudd hints at referendum or plebiscite if MPs not allowed free vote

Once opposed, Kevin Rudd has changed his mind and now supports gay marriage. Credit:

After having a personal change of heart, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has come out in support of gay marriage.

He says he wants to end the "unnecessary angst" facing gays and lesbians in his country.

Rudd opposed gay marriage during his first term as prime minister but says he changed his mind after chatting with constituents and his daughter, Jessica.

The move makes him the first Australian prime minister to support gay marriage.

He's now hinting of a plebiscite or referendum on the issue if MPs don't have a free vote on the issue.

But gay marriage advocates have dismissed Rudd's idea of a referendum, warning that reform opponents could use the public vote as a platform for fear-mongering.