IN WHAT has been described as a "historical moment" in
Australian politics, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has defended
same-sex marriage just days before the federal election.
On a national television programme, Mr Rudd was challenged on
his support of same-sex marriage by the pastor of a conservative
Brisbane church, who asked why, if he called himself a Christian,
he did not believe the words of Jesus. To loud applause from the
studio audience, Mr Rudd responded that the Bible also said that
slavery was a "natural condition". The human condition and social
conditions change, he said, but the "fundamental principle of the
New Testament" was "universal love".
Mr Rudd, an Anglican who attends church regularly, then engaged
in a spirited discussion about the New Testament with the
A prominent Australian gay activist, Professor Kerryn Phelps,
tweeted that it was "an historical moment in Australian politics".
The national director of the advocacy group Australian Marriage
Equality, Rodney Croome, commented that it was "unprecedented in
Australian history for a Prime Minister to give such a strong
defence of equality for gay people, and was made all the more
compelling because it was from a Christian perspective".
With the federal election to be held tomorrow, opinion polls
currently predict a landslide victory for the Opposition coalition
of the Liberal and National Parties, led by Tony Abbott, a Roman