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Kevin Rudd Hub



04/19/2007


Julia Gillard Out, Pro-Equality Kevin Rudd In as Australian Prime Minister: VIDEO

Rudd

Because of all the marriage news this week I didn't have time to note that anti-equality Australian PM Julia Gillard was ousted by Kevin Rudd, in his second term as Prime Minister, offering hope for that nation's battle over same-sex marriage.

GillardThe Brisbane Times reports:

Advocates of same-sex marriage say Kevin Rudd's return as prime minister will increase pressure on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote on the issue, regardless of who wins the election this year.

Mr Rudd's 57-45 vote victory over Julia Gillard at a caucus meeting on Wednesday makes him the first sitting Australian prime minister to support same-sex marriage.

The co-convener of the Rainbow Families Council, Felicity Marlowe, said if Labor won the election her organisation would hope for legislation allowing same-sex marriage to be introduced within the first 100 days of the next Parliament.

Rudd came out for marriage equality in a blog post last May, writing:

I have come to the conclusion that church and state can have different positions and practices on the question of same sex marriage. I believe the secular Australian state should be able to recognise same sex marriage. I also believe that this change should legally exempt religious institutions from any requirement to change their historic position and practice that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. For me, this change in position has come about as a result of a lot of reflection, over a long period of time, including conversations with good people grappling with deep questions of life, sexuality and faith.

Watch a Euronews report on Rudd's swearing in, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Julia Gillard Out, Pro-Equality Kevin Rudd In as Australian Prime Minister: VIDEO" »


Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd Flips: I Support Marriage Equality

Australian former PM Kevin Rudd, who opposed a 2009 amendment while in office that would have paved the way for marriage equality, declared today that he has changed his mind in a lengthy post on his blog.

RuddSaid Rudd, in part:

I have come to the conclusion that church and state can have different positions and practices on the question of same sex marriage. I believe the secular Australian state should be able to recognise same sex marriage. I also believe that this change should legally exempt religious institutions from any requirement to change their historic position and practice that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. For me, this change in position has come about as a result of a lot of reflection, over a long period of time, including conversations with good people grappling with deep questions of life, sexuality and faith.

Rudd said that he changed his mind after a talk with a former political staffer, a Christian active in his Pentecostal Church, sat down with the former PM and told him that he wanted to be married.

Added Rudd:

And so the re-think began, once again taking me back to first principles. First, given that I profess to be a Christian (albeit not a particularly virtuous one) and given that this belief informs a number of my basic views; and given that I am given a conscience vote on these issues; then what constitutes for me a credible Christian view of same sex marriage, and is such a view amenable to change? Second, irrespective of what that view might be, do such views have a proper place in a secular state, in a secular definition of marriage, or in a country where the census tells us that while 70% of the population profess a religious belief, some 70% of marriages no longer occur in religious institutions, Christian or otherwise.

Rudd adds that homosexuality is not a choice:

I for one have never accepted the argument from some Christians that homosexuality is an abnormality. People do not choose to be gay. The near universal findings of biological and psychological research for most of the post war period is that irrespective of race, religion or culture, a certain proportion of the community is born gay, whether they like it or not. Given this relatively uncontested scientific fact, then the following question that arises is should our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay be fully embraced as full members of our wider society? The answer to that is unequivocally yes, given that the suppression of a person's sexuality inevitably creates far greater social and behavioural abnormalities, as opposed to its free and lawful expression.

He continues, speaking about the arguments that it might hurt children, and debunks the right-wing arguments against that, concluding:

Finally, as someone who was raised for the most important part of his childhood by a single mum, I don’t buy the argument that I was somehow developmentally challenged because I didn’t happen to have a father. The loving nurture of children is a more complex business than that.

Rudd says he won't be taking a leadership role on the issue but just wanted to make his new position known, urging the legislature to enact the freedom to marry for all.


Daughter of Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Opposes Father, Backs Marriage Equality

Jessica Rudd, the daughter of Australian Foreign Minister and former PM Kevin Rudd, tells the Sydney Morning Herald she supports marriage equality, unlike her father:

RuddWhereas a year ago she gave the impression that to be in a political family meant neutering one's true feelings - for instance, she dodged a journalist's question about whether she and her father had ever discussed gay marriage, given that her books feature a lesbian couple and her father famously opposed the proposed 2009 amendment of the Marriage Act that would have paved the way for legal gay unions - now she pulls no punches.

''Look, I don't care about his reaction,'' she says of her father. ''I believe in marriage equality and I just don't understand why we're still having this debate.'

So what does her father make of his daughter's views on the topic?

''His reaction is, 'You've disagreed with me. Yay, I've raised a strong, independent woman who can think for herself.'''

Just last month, Rudd's aunt Loree publicly quit the Labor Party over its support for same-sex marriage.


Thousands Rally for Marriage Equality Across Australia

Melbourne

Cities across Australia saw demonstrations on Saturday after a government panel rejected a proposed marriage equality bill. The rejection occurred the same week the Australian Capital Territory approved civil unions. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said he will overturn them.

The Courier Mail reports: Equallove "Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Alex Greenwich said strong attendances by more than 2000 people at rallies in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, ACT, Adelaide and Lismore today to launch a national year of action showed positive community support.' I think the bill's rejection has re-energised people's commitment to marriage equality,' he said. He said same-sex marriage could become a key issue in the lead-up to the next federal election. 'The inquiry put on the official record thousands of personal stories about the way marriage discrimination hurts, harms and hinders same-sex couples, their families and the nation - stories we will continue to bring to the attention of politicians and the public,' Mr Greenwich said."

Watch video from the Melbourne demonstration, AFTER THE JUMP...

(image above by flickr user bsolah)

Continue reading "Thousands Rally for Marriage Equality Across Australia" »


Labor Calls on Australian PM Kevin Rudd to Approve Marriage Equality

The Victorian Labor Party is pressuring Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to recognize marriage equality, the Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Rudd "Labor's state conference overwhelmingly passed a resolution at the weekend calling for gay and lesbian couples to be given the same rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to state-sanctioned marriage. The resolution, which is supported by state ministers and which attracted cross-factional support, calls on the Federal Government to change the Marriage Act to allow for 'equal access to marriage, regardless of the gender of either partner'. It also urges the Federal Government not to override new laws passed in the ACT that will allow same-sex couples to celebrate their civil union at a legally binding ceremony. 'Victorian Labor believes that people are entitled to respect, equality, dignity and the opportunity to participate in society free from hatred or harassment and receive the protection of the law regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,' the resolution says. The conference vote puts the Victorian branch of the party at odds with both Mr Rudd and the Premier, John Brumby."

The Age reports: "The Rudd Government intervened last year to ensure ACT laws allowed only for civil union ceremonies with no legal status, and Mr Brumby has said his Government does not support gay marriage."


Australian Capital Territory Okays Same-Sex Unions

Until they are nixed again by Kevin Rudd's government, civil partnerships are again legal in Australia's Capital Territory:

Act "In a long-running case of legal leapfrog, the Australian Capital Territory legislative assembly yesterday amended its civil partnerships scheme to let same-sex couples hold a legally sanctioned ceremony. But the decision, moved by the Greens and backed by Labor after its two previous attempts, appeared to put the territory on another collision course with the Federal Government. Acting federal Attorney-General Brendan O'Connor yesterday signalled no dramatic shift in the federal stance on such laws, which are expected to take effect within weeks.' The passage of these amendments does not change the Rudd Government's clear policy on marriage or about relationship recognition of couples who choose it,' a spokesman said. ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said he was quietly confident the reform would succeed this time. Senior Federal Government legal figures have had little time to focus on the move, given the asylum seeker controversy."

Similar laws have been put out to pasture before:

"Laws allowing gay marriage in the ACT were repealed after federal intervention in 2006, and a second stand-off ensued in 2008 over legal civil union ceremonies for same-sex couples. That was resolved when the assembly backed down and allowed civil partnerships without an official ceremony after it became clear another federal intervention was on the cards. This time, the territory assembly amended its laws on the advice of two leading Queen's Counsels - including the now federal Solicitor-General Stephen Gageler - to answer criticism that the scheme would mirror marriage. The advice suggests that if civil ceremonies were only open to gay couples, and not heterosexuals, it would be clearer that it did not contravene the federal Marriage Act, which by definition only regulates relationships between a man and a woman."


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