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Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong to Have Child with Partner, Stoke Same-Sex Marriage Debate


Australian finance minister Penny Wong and her partner Sophie Allouache are expecting a baby, through in vitro fertilization, Wong said in a statement:

"Like any expecting parents, the prospect of welcoming this child into our lives fills us both with joy," she said. "We are extremely grateful to our IVF service and staff, and to our donor, for giving us the opportunity to raise a child together."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard welcomed the news."I'm very pleased for Penny and her partner Sophie as they look forward to a new baby and the next phase of their lives," she told reporters in Canberra.

Gillard The implications for Australia's upcoming debate on marriage equality are obvious:

Senator Wong, one of the most senior ministers in the Gillard Government, is the first openly gay minister in federal politics. She is expected to play a pivotal role in the burgeoning debate over same sex marriage due to be discussed at the ALP's supreme policy making body the National Conference late this year."

Added Gillard, who believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, to reporters: "Clearly there are strong views about same-sex marriage in the community. There are strong views in the political party I lead, and we'll have a debate at national conference about those strongly held views. I've made my views clear."

You may recall that Wong, who was once under fire from the LGBT community for opposing same-sex marriage, came out in full support of it in November 2010.

Watch a report from 10 Australia, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. The really disgusting thing about Gillard's position is that she is an atheist. There is really no rational reason for her views. She also cohabitates with her boyfriend - which is perfectly fine, but she clearly doesn't have any interest in marriage

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 9, 2011 8:12:45 AM

  2. I don't know how effective an advocate for marriage equality she will be since everyone knows that until just recently she was a staunch and vocal supporter of the country's "one man, one woman" marriage law.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 9, 2011 9:22:07 AM

  3. I'm referring to Wong's position, not Gillard's.

    That's a whole other discussion of disgusting!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 9, 2011 9:23:24 AM

  4. "strongly held views"

    Lots of folks had "strongly held views" about blacks on buses or in schools, that didn't make those views right.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 9, 2011 9:32:58 AM

  5. Australia is ruled by white trash

    Posted by: allan | Aug 9, 2011 10:40:24 AM

  6. Maybe her new family will inspire Senator Wong to find political backbone. Her response to the equality issue last time around was to basically tow the party line, adding insult to injury by "respecting" bigots for their views because after all, it can't be bigotry if it's culturally normative. Rather like how the White Australia policy of the 60s was not racist because it was acceptable amongst good company.

    I try to be optimistic, promise! However I am cautious of the possibility that should this debate fail to shift ALP policy, Wong will fall back in line as it is not expedient for a senior cabinet member to challenge the status quo.

    It was also unsettling to see her criticise the Greens for being too "vocal" about their support for marriage equality. The Greens, whilst only holding a small parlimentary presence have ALWAYS been fierce advocates, both in policy and practice... which is more than can be said for Penny Wong.

    Posted by: Philippe | Aug 9, 2011 11:09:28 AM

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