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'Watershed' Australian Debate Over Gay Families Goes Viral Down Under: VIDEO


An exchange over gay families by two Australian politicos shadow treasurer Joe Hockey and out Finance Minister Penny Wong is getting attention down under, The Age reports.

Prompted by an audience question about why the shadow treasurer thinks he and his wife make better parents than the Finance Minister and her female partner, the segment ends with Wong quietly but firmly declaring: "I know what my family is worth".

It may only be brief but activists are calling the exchange a ''watershed moment'' in their campaign for same-sex marriage – both allowing people to understand the debate at a personal level and demonstrating its status as a mainstream political issue.

On Tuesday, Wong's response trended on Twitter and the clip has had more than 71,000 views on YouTube (up from 53,000 this time yesterday). A company has even started selling "I know what my family is worth" t-shirts and stickers.



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  1. Penny Wong rocks! I don't think she realises how much she contributes to the liberalisation of attitudes towards LGBT people just by being who she is - a quiet, top performing government Minister who just happens to also be an out gay woman.

    Posted by: Mark | May 18, 2012 10:32:41 AM

  2. Great exchange. I'm just not sure how any thinking person can truly believe that they're not being hurtful and prejudiced when the say "I'm not against gay people, I just don't think they should be able to get married." Convicted murderers can get married, even if they'll never be able to get any closer to their spouse than the inch-thick plexiglass partition allows. It's a human and civil right that every last one of us should have.

    Look. We're either equal or we're not. If we're not, then we should stop with the "liberty and justice for all" stuff.

    Posted by: The Milkman | May 18, 2012 10:51:11 AM

  3. It's all about the Ideological Imperative of Gender Roles as insisted upon by thr Heterosexual Dictatorship.

    Happily that Dictatorship is cracking.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 18, 2012 11:51:13 AM

  4. this is a watershed moment. I love her.

    Posted by: Lucas | May 18, 2012 12:11:37 PM

  5. "Alot of my friends whether they be heterosexual or Gay..." Oh yeah here we go again with the I have Gay friends but they don't serve the same civil equality as my hetero friends.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | May 18, 2012 1:04:59 PM

  6. Let's also remember that Penny Wong has also spoken out publicly AGAINST same-sex marriage.

    Quote from Wong in the Australian newspaper 'The Age:'

    Openly gay Minister for Climate Change Penny Wong says she agrees with her party’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
    ‘‘On the issue of marriage I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious, historical view around that which we have to respect,’’ she told Network Ten today.
    ‘‘The party’s position is very clear that this is an institution that is between a man and a woman.’’
    Senator Wong said she respected Labor’s view of marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.
    ‘‘I am part of a party and I support the party’s policies.’’

    Just saying...

    Posted by: Bill | May 18, 2012 2:35:56 PM

  7. honestly, Bill, I think I might ask her again...

    Gov't appts are always in a tricky spot. I can't begin to know how it works in Auz so I won't even guess.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | May 18, 2012 4:15:46 PM


    Posted by: Angela | May 18, 2012 6:07:07 PM

  9. Bill, yes, but when she said that she was stating the party policy of the time. The Labor Party voted in December to make gay marriage part of its platform, so now she is free to express support.

    Pete, Ministers in Australia are elected members of Parliament, not government appointees like American Secretaries. Our Executive and our Legislature are intertwined. Of course, she still has to toe the line for the good of the party.

    Penny Wong should be the PM of Australia, but it'll never happen because she is an asian lesbian.

    Posted by: Ben | May 18, 2012 9:46:33 PM

  10. There are a lot of "configuration" issues that favor one kind of parenting couple over others. If, for example, both are white. That's quite an advantage in most places in the world. It's just a statistical fact. Yet, oddly enough, no one suggests that kids would be so much better off that other parenting couples just can't get married.

    Posted by: BobN | May 19, 2012 12:08:26 AM

  11. A "Watershed" debate. Really?

    Posted by: andrew | May 19, 2012 6:58:07 AM

  12. she does rock

    Posted by: gomez | May 19, 2012 8:42:29 PM

  13. The most important thing in life is health, happiness, and stability. These are the most important circumstances for raising a kid.

    Having both the love of a mother and a father in a good situation, I will admit, is very beneficial to a child. It opens up dimensions in a child's development, but coming from a hetero family where my father and mother were both abusive and selfish, I have wished my entire life to have a family any other family than the one that I had just so I could know what its like to be loved nurtured and cared for, and not have to do all the nurturing and caring myself.

    Ultimately, in the world we live now where kids are living in foster homes, being abused by broken hetero couples, there are many many many who have one mother one father whos development is being held back due to other circumstances. One mother, one father, is often not going to outweigh the cons of the family they are being conceived into.

    If a gay couple are stable healthy loving people, they should definitely be able to marry and raise a family. Absolutely. You are cheating and depriving children of having good lives if you oppose marriage equality, and why? Because you are are close minded. That makes you the abuser, not the protector.

    Posted by: Mike | May 20, 2012 12:59:56 AM

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