Marriage equality advocates have wasted no time calling the Gillard Government’s opposition to same-sex marriage “out of step” after news Finance Minister Penny Wong and her female partner are expecting a baby.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Peter Furness congratulated the couple, however, said the soon-to-be parents are still denied the right to marry.
“We congratulate Penny Wong and Sophie Allouache on their happy news and we wish them well,” Furness said.
“It’s pleasing state and federal law will recognise them both as parents, but this just highlights how out-of-step the same-sex marriage ban has become by denying their child the option of having married parents.
“Marriage can benefit children by providing them with a greater sense of security and recognition, and these benefits should be available for all Australian children including those raised by same-sex couples.”
Wong and Allouache are expecting the birth of their baby in December, the same month as the ALP National Conference where the issue of same-sex marriage is set to be hotly debated.
The baby was conceived via IVF with sperm from a known donor.
Wong last year declared her support for marriage equality at the South Australian Labor Party conference.
Today Treasurer Wayne Swan and Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop offered their congratulations.
The Rainbow Families Council if Victoria have also added their congratulations to the expectant couple.
“Rainbow Families Council is delighted to hear the news that Senator Wong and her partner Sophie are expecting their first child,” Rainbow Families Council spokeswoman Eilis Hughes told the Star Observer.
“We wish them well as they join the many rainbow families across Australia who are enjoying all that parenthood brings.”
NSW Christian Democrats leader the Reverend Fred Nile today accused Wong trying to “make a statement” with the announcement.
“She needn’t have made it public – it just promotes their lesbian lifestyle and trying to make it natural where it’s unnatural,” Nile said.