UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
Australian Rainbow Labor spokesperson, Matthew Loader has responded in the wake of Kevin Rudd’s comments the party won’t be budged on the gay marriage issue.
This is exactly the type of issue the Labor Party conference should be prepared to engage with, he said.
Hiding behind the statement that is our existing policy will no longer satisfy the majority of Australians who support recognising same-sex marriage.
Community support for the official and symbolic recognition of same sex relationships is growing – the Labor party needs to change with the community’s views…this fight isn’t going to go away.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has already clamped down on the push for gay marriage ahead of tomorrow’s ALP National Conference.
According to a report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, Rudd has instructed Labor Party powerbrokers not to make any advances on changes to same-sex relationship rights including a national civil union scheme, or marriage.
There were initial fears among lobbyists the relationship equality issue would not gain traction during talks, however it has now emerged as a potentially divisive one for conference delegates.
SMH reports that party factions met separately yesterday to thrash out their positions in the lead-up, with the controlling Right elements of the party decided not make any change to Labor’s existing policy that marriage remain between a man and a woman.
The report said the party’s Left powerbrokers were confident they could persuade Rainbow Labor to abandon plans to put a motion to the conference calling for gay marriage, instead preferring a behind the scenes push.
Yesterday, Rudd told ABC radio he would not be moved on the issue.
I fully accept that its a matter of controversy and there’ll be debate – and there should be – this is an open society where we can debate and discuss these matters, he said.
We’ve simply reflected our view and my view as to what the proper arrangements are under the Marriage Act, but in terms of other discriminations we have acted rapidly to remove those under various items of Federal legislation.