We’ve long wondered why single, atheist, left-wing PM Julia Gillard has been so dead-set against marriage equality. A new article from Gay Star News offers a possibility:
A rift between marriage-equality supporting members and social conservative leaders has erupted in Australia’s largest trade union, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). The conflict has potentially far-reaching consequences as the national leader of the SDA is Joe de Bruyn who is hugely influential in the Labor Party and rumored to be the reason Prime Minister Julia Gillard is so stubbornly opposed to marriage equality.
Of course. It’s politics.
A group within the union is now challenging de Bruyn’s stance on the issue:
SDA Members for Marriage Equality was formed in response to de Bruyn’s public anti-gay-marriage statements in 2010. ‘He was committing the union to campaign against gay marriage,’ said Hart. ‘Since then we’ve made it our mission to try to show that the SDA leaders who act like they speak on behalf of their members, the 250,000 members of the SDA, do not represent the members.’ Last year SDA made a anti-gay-marriage submission to the Senate inquiry looking at proposed changes to the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage.
The union has repeatedly refused to survey its members on the issue, claiming they are overwhelmingly against marriage equality.