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.
-œThis is exactly the type of issue the Labor Party conference should be prepared to engage with, he said.
-œHiding behind the statement -œthat is our existing policy will no longer satisfy the majority of Australians who support recognising same-sex marriage.
-œCommunity 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.

-œI 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.

-œWe’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.

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