Former Governor-General and Labor Party leader Bill Hayden has told the party to get some guts and introduce same-sex marriage.
In an opinion piece written for www.thepunch.com.au, Hayden declared his support for same-sex marriage and called for the introduction of federal anti-discrimination laws.
“The times are nowhere near as tolerant of and respectful towards [gay and lesbian people] as would be the case if the community accepted them as fully equal,” Hayden wrote. “We allow them a sort of provisional, limited citizenship; freedom on a short leash, as it were.
“Yes, homosexual love is now tolerated by the law, but not marriage.”
Speaking to Sydney Star Observer, Hayden said what the Labor Party needed now was “some G-U-T-S”.
“You can be too safe in politics. If we were never game, we’d be stuck on the coastline all the time and never set sail into the deep sea, which is what you have to do to reach a destination in politics.
“We’re lagging behind Canada and other countries, but we shouldn’t be behind anyone and in fact we should be leading on basic human rights. We shouldn’t be treating people in a discriminatory way, in an artificially created discriminatory way. I think the gays have suffered too much cruel discrimination over the centuries,” he warned the incumbent government.
“People who [don’t believe marriage to be a right afforded to gays and lesbians] are narrow minded.
“They’re narrowly ill-informed understandings of the relationships that occur between gay people. Many gay people have steady, long-term, continuing relationships that are as mutually supportive and encouraging as any heterosexual couple, and shouldn’t be treated any differently.
“Marriage gives a great sense of security about the relationship, there are certain legal rights as a result of it, but thirdly, why should they [gays and lesbians] be treated as though they are an oddity at a sideshow alley?”

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