Aussie MP Blasts Opponents Of Marriage Equality: ‘Worst Sort Of Hypocrisy’


Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of Australia's Liberal Party and a staunch supporter of marriage equality, delivered a withering rebuke against opponents of LGBT rights in a speech last night.

Describing his conservative counterparts' arguments as "dripping with the worst sort of hypocrisy," Turnbull insisted "the threat to marriage is not the gays."

"It is," he said, "a lack of loving commitment – whether it is found in the form of neglect, indifference, cruelty or adultery, to name just a few manifestations of the loveless desert in which too many marriages come to grief.''

The MP also invoked his own marriage, "I am utterly unpersuaded by the proposition that my marriage to Lucy, or indeed any marriage, is undermined by two gay men or two lesbians setting up house down the road – whether it is called a marriage or not."

Australia's The Age has more from Turnbull's remarks:

"Do the bishops seriously imagine that legalizing gay marriage will result in thousands of parties to heterosexual marriages suddenly deciding to get divorced so they can marry a person of the same sex?" he said.

"Are not the gays who seek the right to marry, to formalize their commitment to each other, holding up a mirror to heterosexuals who are marrying less frequently and divorcing more often?"

With regard to gay adoptions, which a states issue there, Turnbull said that almost everyone can agree that being raised by biological parents is most often in the kids' best interest, but that such a scenario is often not an option in "particular circumstances" and that same-sex couples are vital to supporting parentless children.


  1. Frank says

    Why does NO ONE seem to realize that by the time it comes to a same sex couple wanting to adopt a child the fact is- that child’s biological parents have failed him or her. It’s not like two women fighting over a dress at Loehmann’s! One side (the biological side) has given up!

  2. Baby says

    I categorically reject the myth that two biological parents are necessarily better than two persons (m-f, m-m, f-f) who are committed to loving, nurturing, and raising a child.

    I see all too many biological parents who are too self-absorbed to put a child’s interests ahead of their own; parents who can’t commit to one another, let alone to the 20-year undertaking of raising a child properly; mothers who can’t nurture because of their own immature selfishness; fathers who simply follow their biological sexual urges, with zero interest in child-rearing; other fathers who don’t abuse their children, but simply have no interest or idea how to relate to them.

    The ability to create a child is NOT the same thing as the ability to love and nurture a child. This simply does not follow biologically or naturally. It’s a myth promulgated by Far Right Fundamentalists as a pretext for opposing marriage equality.

    And the Fundamentalist argument is inconsistent. I always wonder why if two parents are better than one, why four parents aren’t better than two–more attention, more ability to provide materially, more life experiences to share, more love.

    I would much rather have had one parent who loved me and was committed to raising me than two parents who were absorbed by their careers, distracted by professional ambitions, and really not tempermentally suited for child-rearing.

  3. Dei says

    Uh, just a major correction to your shoddy research: Malcolm Turnbull is the FORMER Leader of the Liberal Party, not the current leader. Furthermore, contrary to what “Craig S” tries to insist in his “slight correction”, Turnbull was never the leader of the ALP (‘Australian Labor Party’).

  4. Robert says

    The only reason why christian conservatives and the christian leadership in general is fighting tooth and nail against gay marriage is that it will take another chip away from the legitimacy of the bible, weakening their power and they risk losing more worshipers. I see this as a big power struggle, nothing more than that. I wish to have more faith in human intelligence and common sense. It’s just sad to see some people will go out of their way to be so misinformed and so fearful.

  5. Jay says

    Please correct this article. Turnbull is not the leader of the Liberal Party. He is a “frontbencher” and because of the leader Tony Abbott’s opposition to same-sex marriage will vote against same-sex marriage. You give a very distorted view of Australian politics. The Labor Party is going to allow its MPs to vote their conscience, which means that most but not all of them will vote in favor of same-sex marriage. On the other hand, the Liberal Party (which is not liberal) will not permit a conscience vote and will “whip” their MPs, including Martin Turnbull, to vote against same-sex marriage even if such a vote violates their consciences.

  6. gregory brown says

    Thanks for the clarification, Jay. Despite Turnbull’s commitment to vote as his party tells him, his personal support for marriage equality, as well as humane adoption rules, must encourage people.

  7. MikeMB says

    I don’t understand how equal-marriage opponents in countries like Australia and the U.S. can still claim that same-sex marriage will somehow lead to the unraveling of hetero marriage. A decade ago, they could at least argue “well, we don’t know the effects but this COULD happen”. Anyone with half a brain could to look to countries like Spain, Canada and the Netherlands and see that nothing bad has happened in the several years since allowing same-sex marriage and then that argument goes right down the toilet where it always belonged.

  8. till the world endst says

    It’s the closet gays and scared wives of the closet gays fear that they will lose their men! Closet gays will have nothing to hold on too and will be to scared to come out. No more hiding no more DL lol they will are scared that because gay marriage is legal they will lose half the men in the country. Well it didn’t happen in canada! Gees

  9. jason says

    Er, so many inaccuracies in this thread. Check your facts next time, Mr Belonsky. Mr Turnbull is a past leader of the Liberal Party (Australia’s version of the Republican Party), not current leader. Andrew, you really need to check before rushing to post.

  10. Elegir says

    Mr Turbull’s comments on same-sex adoption were not quoted in full here on Towleroad, but his views are less heteronormative than some people here assume (eg. Baby). The SMH reports him as also saying in the speech:

    “In an ideal world, as opposed to this vale of tears, the best parents for any child are their biological parents. However, in many cases one or even both biological parents are simply not there. And … not infrequently, even when they are there, one or both of the biological parents are neither loving nor wise.”

    Ah, if only the Liberals were ready to be lead by someone who can actually think for himself. In fact, wish that the same were true of the ALP.

  11. Kyle says

    Malcolm Turnbull is actually the former leader of the opposition party. He was replaced by the current leader, Tony Abbott, after he lost the confidence of his party for supporting the current government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

  12. Mike says

    Thanks to my fellow Aussies for the clarifications, but it is worth repeating that the Australian Liberal Party is not liberal as Americans would think. It is indeed much like the republican party. Despite his commitment to his party, Mr Turnbull is a bravely outspoken conservative supporter of marriage and adoption rights. Give credit where due. Remember, our left-wing Labour PM is not as enlightened.

  13. Chris says

    As much as this reads fantastic for Malcolm Turnbull (who is a big supporter of the LGBTQI community in Australia), the big glaring omission that is hidden away here, is that he has also publicly declared that he is still going to vote AGAINST same-sex marriage when the bill comes to parliament, because as a senior Minister of the Liberal Party (similar to Republican Party) opposition in Australia he is obliged to resign from his Ministerial position if he votes against his own party line. So yeah, great he’s speaking out (and in his own way encouraging others more junior in his own party to cross the line and vote for same-sex marriage), the reality is he has publicly declared just as recently as an hour ago on live Australian TV that he will NOT, that is NOT, vote for same-sex marriage because he will lose his senior position in the party and he’s not prepared to do that. So it’s not all roses at all…

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