Breaking news! Julia Gillard supports same-sex marriage — two years too late. The former PM used her Michael Kirby lecture, delivered last night at Victoria University, to come out as a same-sex marriage supporter.
What a cynical and hollow gesture.
Previously, Gillard has argued that her feminist views meant she didn’t support any kind of marriage, even that between a man and woman. Last night she said:
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“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. 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.”
First up, feminists stand for equality and freedom of choice, so this makes next to no sense, but secondly, if she really was ideologically opposed to all marriage, why didn’t she move to abolish it?
Because the excuse was a flimsy cover for the fact that her own prime ministership relied on support from conservative figures in her own party like Joe de Bruyn, who is bitterly opposed to gay marriage.
We don’t believe Julia Gillard was ever opposed to marriage equality. Ultimately her public views on the matter were based on one thing: her own political survival.
Last night’s speech makes it clear that Gillard’s primary concern while prime minister was holding on to the top job — at any cost.