Australia: Why Rudd Flipped on Marriage Equality; and A Personal Protest

Written by scott on May 25th, 2013

Sydney Opera HouseA couple more marriage equality stories out of Australia this morning. First off, Business Insider Australia says three factors changed former PM Kevin Rudd’s mind on marriage equality:

Christian teaching: Rudd talks about the tradition in Christian thinking involving “faith informed by reason”. He separates literal interpretations of Biblical dictates from universal Christian values such as “love your neighbour as yourself”. Some of the Bible’s teachings on slavery and the status of women have deservedly come to have no place in modern society, he observes, and a reasoned approach by Christian leaders has actually helped improve the social standing of groups who would otherwise be subjugated by Biblical rules. History has shown Christian ethics are open to changing with the times, so there’s room for changes of views, he concludes. This opens the door for him to consider it further.

Scientific data: Rudd cites scientific studies that show people don’t “choose” to be gay. If this is accepted, he says, then unequivocally “our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay” should be fully embraced as equal members of society. This fits with the equality principles of Christianity. He also refers to research which has shown, over decades, that outcomes for children raised by same-sex couples are no different from those raised by couples in conventional relationships.

Emerging life in Australia: Rudd is at pains to insist that childrens’ welfare should be of paramount concern, and goes back to the scientific research that shows there’s no cause for worry. He adds that among the many changes to family structures in Australia is the reality that more and more kids are being raised by same-sex parents. He notes that children in these relationships have the same legal rights as children in traditional marriage, and asks why Australia shouldn’t give children raised by same-sex parents the “emotional and practical stability” offered by civil marriage.

And in Brisbane, a gay man and a lesbian will marry Sunday to protest the country’s ban on marriage equality. Gay Star News reports:

As part of a stand against Australian laws prohibiting same-sex marriages, a gay man is planning to marry a lesbian bride at a demonstration in Brisbane. Chad St James, a student filmmaker and gay rights activist is marrying lesbian Kristan Walker this Sunday (26 May) forming what has been described as a government endorsed ‘gay’ marriage. On Facebook, the gay husband-to-be said ‘needless to say I’m all kinds of nervous and stressed’ about marrying Kristan, a fellow marriage equality activist.


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