New Australian PM Calls For Marriage Equality Vote Or Referendum
Things are moving fast in Australia, where marriage equality opponent Julia Gillard was ousted as Prime Minister and replaced by LGBT-ally Kevin Rudd earlier this week. With his seat not yet fully warmed, PM Rudd has already called for movement on marriage equality.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Rudd said he wants a conscience vote for lawmakers on the issue, or to allow the nation to decide via a referendum.
"I am now the first prime minister of Australia who is a fully signed-up supporter of marriage equality," Mr. Rudd told reporters. "I would like to see this done. This causes so many people unnecessary angst out in Australia in the gay and lesbian community," he said.
The maneuver by Mr. Rudd, who has presented himself as a Churchgoing family man, is an attempt to broaden his appeal with voters beyond his traditional support base and sets up a clash with center-right leader, Tony Abbott.
Mr. Rudd was sworn in Thursday as prime minister after defeating rival Julia Gillard—an opponent of gay marriage—in a ballot that returned him to the party leadership three years after being toppled in an internal coup led by Ms. Gillard.