A News Limited story today has claimed former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd struck a deal at last year’s ALP National Conference to move on same-sex civil unions – and would have allowed a conscience vote on the issue.

The story, using unnamed sources, suggests a back-room agreement was reached between Rudd and Cabinet ministers Penny Wong and Anthony Albanese in a series of meetings around the Conference last year.

According to the report, Rudd, Wong and Albanese have declined to comment on the allegations.

The story also claims Rudd was prepared to openly campaign on same-sex civil unions at the 2010 election.

Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwhich has challenged Wong and Albanese to either confirm or deny reaching an agreement, saying a civil union scheme would ‘sell the gay community short.’

“We challenge Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong to deny the reports, or explain to the clear majority of gay and lesbian Australians who prefer marriage equality to civil unions, why they have to settle for second best,” Greenwich said.

“Far from being a step towards marriage equality, civil unions entrench the second class status of same-sex relationships.”

View the News Ltd story here.

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