Australian Prime Minister declines to support gay marriage

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has replied to an open letter calling on her to legalise gay marriage in the country.

In his letter last month, headed Dear Julia, follow Obama and let me marry the man I love, journalist Matt Young compared the increasing number of countries and states around the world which have legalised gay marriage with the number of Australian states which have done the same to date:

“News that the US states of Maine, Maryland and Washington state legalised gay marriage on Tuesday cemented the notion that Australia is well and truly behind the eight-ball. Ten states in the US now recognise same-sex marriage. Globally,Argentina,Belgium,Canada,Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden also recognise our legal right to wed. How many states in Australia thus far? Zero.”

He hailed President Obama’s pro-gay marriage stance, and wrote:

“While I’m yet to find the man of my dreams, my hope is that when I do, I’ll be given the right to choose whether I would like to seal the deal, so to speak.”

Prime Minister Gillard’s government has now responded to the letter, saying:

“While the Government will not be introducing legislation to change the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act 1961, Labor Party members will be allowed a conscience vote when private members’ bills proposing amendments to the Marriage Act to recognise same sex marriage come before the Parliament.”

The letter, written on behalf of Prime Minister Gillard, stressed that her government had amended 84 laws to “equalise treatment for same-sex couples in many important areas”.

Matt Young wrote that he read the letter with “an overwhelming sense of disappointment”, adding:

“So, there we have it. Unfortunately, [Prime Minister Gillard is] not the one to fly our flag and stand up for what’s right, for the hundreds of thousands of people (yes, there’s a few of us around) in this country who have been stripped of the choice to say, “I do”, whether they would like to or not.”

Photo of Julia Gillard by Max Milne via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

View more from this author

3 comments

Brad - December 5, 2012 at 8:14pm

South Africa has its fair shares of many,many issues & not like any other country on the African continent. We are years ahead, and being Gay in South Africa is just that…. I’m gay, she’s white, he is Jewish or Muslim. We really do carry on, regardless. Australia is a continent and nation of hillbillies!

Theodore - December 8, 2012 at 11:55am

@Brad Your ignorant, Australia isn’t full of Hillbilies, we don’t even have them here, they are American and even the closest thing that resembles a hillbilly, that resides in Australia make up a very small portion of the total population. I highly doubt that South Africa is years ahead or highly developed in comparison to countries like Australia, America, Uk, Etc, It is the most developed in its region but it is not years ahead than any other developed country.

Julia Gillard should allow Homosexual marriage to occur. There is no reason to stop it . Shame on her.

troy - May 18, 2013 at 8:32am

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has replied to an open letter calling on her to legalise gay marriage in the country.
The letter, written on behalf of Prime Minister Gillard, stressed that her government had amended 84 laws to “equalise treatment for same-sex couples in many important areas”.

Leave a comment