julia gillard decides same-sex marriage should be legalised after all
Julia Gillard has sparked controversy following her change in position on same-sex marriage, with critics saying that she should have acted when she was in power.
People have been lashing out at Gillard after she gave a speech at Victoria University, where she declared that she is now in support of same-sex marriage.
‘In my time post-politics, as key countries have moved to embrace same-sex marriage, I have identified that my preferred reform direction was most assuredly not winning hearts and minds.’
Gillard said the national debate of the issue had caused her to re-examine some of her fundamental values, believing her former view to be ‘idiosyncratic’.
‘I am aware that this vote by me was viewed as odd by many given what they know of my broader values. I am keenly aware my position was idiosyncratic,’ she admitted in the lecture.
‘Given the 1970s feminist in me saw much to be concerned with from a gender perspective with traditional marriage, I thought the better approach was not to change the old but to create something new.’
Gillard’s actions whilst in power were in stark contrast to her new stance, as she was once recorded praising traditional marriage as a ‘special status’ that must continue into the future.
‘There are some important things from our past that need to continue to be part of our present and part of our future. For our culture, for our heritage, the Marriage Act and marriage being between a man and a woman has a special status,’ she said during a TV interview in 2011.
Despite Gillard’s change of heart, some are saying this move has come too late and she should have taken action when she had the chance. In an opinion piece by Matt Young for News.com, he called Julia a sheep, and criticized her change of view as simply an act of following the crowd.
‘Here’s the thing about the fight for marriage equality: In recent times, most of the politicians who can make a difference about it are against it until the tide sways the other way. Kevin Rudd, Bill Shorten, Wayne Swan and oh … look at that, Julia Gillard. Is Julia Gillard a sheep or a shepherd? After three years, I think I just got my answer,’ wrote Young.
‘It’s tough to sit there and watch full equality get voted down year after year, my rights dangling like a carrot in front of me. This is why, no matter the time, we need strong leadership. One that listens to its people. To its cries,’ Young finished in an emotional conclusion.
Julia now says she is hoping for a conscience vote for same-sex marriage, saying she would vote ‘yes’ if she was still in politics.
‘I also think it is important that the matter is now resolved through a conscience vote by the Parliament as promptly as possible after the next election so that no more potential twists and turns can loom up. I would not have a vote in that debate. But if I did, I would vote yes,’ she said.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, is advising other political leaders not to wait until it is too late to make a change.
‘We urge other political leaders not to wait until it is too late for them to show leadership in Parliament, as Ms Gillard has done.’