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

Wong

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.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong and Partner Have Baby

Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong, who was once under fire from the LGBT community for opposing same-sex marriage, but came out in support of it in November 2010, has had a child with her partner Sophie Allouache via in-vitro fertilization, ABC News reports:

WongSenator Wong has said the biological father is a friend who will be known to the baby, but his name is not expected to be made public.

"We are extremely grateful to our IVF service and staff, and to our donor, for giving us the opportunity to raise a child together," Senator Wong said.

The senator, who drove a hard-fought change to the ALP's platform on gay marriage earlier this month, is now expected to take some time off after Prime Minister Julia Gillard sent her congratulations. "The PM's given me a bit of leave so I'm going to take time off and hopefully we can get the important things in life, like feeding and nappy changing and sleeping, under control," Senator Wong said.

Watch a news report on the baby announcement from last August, AFTER THE JUMP...

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

Wong

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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Openly Lesbian Australian MP Who Once Opposed Gay Marriage Now Comes Out In Support Of It

Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong, Australia's very first openly gay cabinet member, has gotten much heat from the LGBT community for her opposition of gay marriage. Looks like Wong is now personally in full support of marriage equality:

Wong The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Senator Wong has been criticised in the past for putting her role as a cabinet minster ahead of her personal views and declining to support gay marriage.

At the state conference, she said she knew what it was like to be the subject of prejudice.

''I have had the opportunity to advocate for equality at the highest levels of our party and within our party processes, as I do today,'' she said. ''And I will do so at the next national conference. Talking about change is not the same as delivering it.''

The motion means South Australia and Northern Territory Labor branches have both changed policy in recent weeks to support gay marriage.

Alex Greenwich of the Australian Marriage Equality points out the significance of her announcement: "Senator Wong's public support for reform will not only make a difference when the issue is debated at the Labor national conference - it also reinforces the message to the Australian public that gay Australians are united in our desire for full legal equality."


Lesbian Australian MP Penny Wong Opposes Gay Marriage, is Branded a Traitor by the LGBT Community

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Australian Minister Penny Wong, an open lesbian, has sided with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, taking a shocking position against same-sex marriage and infuriating Australia's LGBT and progressive communities.

Same Same reports:

"Labor’s Climate Change Minister (pictured) said on Channel Ten yesterday that she respected her party’s opposition to gay marriage law reform. "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 stated.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson Alex Greenwich says Senator Wong’s rationale for opposing marriage equality is “deeply hypocritical.”

“It was once the ‘cultural, religious and historical view’ that women should not be members of parliament, Asians should not be allowed into Australia, and lesbians shouldn’t even exist, yet thankfully all that changed allowing people like Penny Wong to contribute to Australian society at the highest level,” he reacted. “By opposing marriage equality, Penny Wong has betrayed gay and lesbian Australians, and by using culture, religion and history to justify this opposition she has betrayed the principles of tolerance and inclusion that have given her immense opportunities as a lesbian woman of Chinese descent.”

“I can only pity Senator Wong for putting the politics of prejudice ahead of her own equality.”

Watch Wong defend her position on ABC's Q&A program, AFTER THE JUMP...

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