Kevin Rudd would love his gay children equally but wouldn’t let them marry – and it is still not clear if he would support them adopting children.
A chorus of condemnation from rights advocates around the country followed the Labor leader’s comments.
“I know it’s not a popular view on this program, but I actually believe marriage is between a man and woman,” Rudd told 2Day FM shock jock Kyle Sandilands.
He later said adoption by same-sex couples was a matter for the states to decide.
“If you have parents deceasing, and you have a set of arrangements where next of kin is in a particular same-sex relationship, then you need some discretion within state adoption agencies to take care of those circumstances,” Rudd said.
2Day FM’s openly gay newsreader Geoff Field, who married his partner Jason on air in 2005, tipped his hat to Rudd for making an effort to hear what young people were thinking on these issues.
“But he could not give a reason for keeping gay people as second-class citizens,” Field told SSO.
“I hold nothing against people who don’t want to get married, but we should have the choice. It’s a real tragedy that both our major parties have the same policy on same-sex marriage.”
In a recent SSO poll almost 90 percent of respondents said they wanted the right to marry.
PFLAG president Shelley Argent said she was dubious of Rudd’s claim he would love one of his children equally if they came out as gay.
“Well he doesn’t really because he doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage, so he doesn’t believe in equality,” she said.
“You [Rudd] can make changes to make them equal, not only your children but everybody else’s, but choose not to do it, then that’s not what I call equality.”
NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenors Emily Gray and Pete Johnson said while disappointed with the marriage stance, Rudd at least supported removing financial discrimination.
Greens leader Bob Brown said the same-sex marriage ban was discrimination just as much as the 58 areas of financial inequity.
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