Last night Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stood up for his views regarding same sex marriage when a Q&A audience member questioned how such a view is consistent with his beliefs as a Christian.
Pastor Matt Prater of the New Hope Church in Brisbane said that the Bible defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. “If you call yourself a Christian, then why don’t you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?” Prater said.
Rudd responded by invoking the Bible as well.
“Well mate if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition,” Rudd said. His retort was met with generous applause from the audience.
The PM went on to state that “if you accept it to be natural and normal to be gay then it follows that I don’t think it is right that these two folk here who are in love with each other and are of the same gender, should be denied the opportunity for legal recognition of the duration of their relationship by having marriage equality”.
“If a person’s sexuality is as they are made – should, therefore, their loving relationships be legally recognized and the conclusion I’ve reached is I believe they should.”
Rudd’s defence of same sex marriage was met with wide support on Twitter. However, the LNP quickly posted a video advertisement showing how often he had changed his views on issues. In regards to his “chopping and changing” Rudd said he made a decision to change his position on gay marriage after contemplating for “many, many months” and deciding in “good Christian conscience” that it was the right thing to do.
Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said “it is unprecedented in Australian history for a Prime Minister to give such a strong defence of equality for gay people, and it was made all the more compelling because it was from a Christian perspective”.
Jamie Gardiner, a board member at the Human Rights Law Centre and adviser for The Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby, said that Rudd “came out in support and gave a very clear and reasoned explanation of his thinking. I have no doubt in his authenticity”.
“He was demonstrating that he had listened and thought and changed his mind, and this is a good thing because people can listen and think and change their minds,” Gardiner added.