Gay marriage advocates have condemned decision of the prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, to speak at a conference for an anti-gay group.
Gillard announced today that she would give the key note address at the national conference for Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) in October.
ACL has campaigned tenaciously against gay marriage. Last June it released a video that suggested legalizing gay marriage would lead to marriages with multiple partners. And the group successfully campaigned for safe sex advertising featuring clothed men hugging to be withdrawn, but the ‘Rip & Roll’ ads have since been reinstated.
‘The ACL is an unrepresentative, anti-gay group which it is completely inappropriate for the leader of our nation to endorse in this way,’ said national convener of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich.
‘Between January and June this year the ACL made over 120 statements condemning equality for gay Australians and said virtually nothing about poverty or homelessness, with some of its statements linking gay equality with the stolen generation, Nazis and pedophiles.’
Gillard is the only leader in the English-speaking Western world to oppose gay marriage. As an atheist who lives with her partner unmarried, her steadfast refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry is mysterious. But her links to the ACL could provide the answer.
LGBT rights advocates said in July that former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who was pushed out of power by Gillard, told them she got her job through a deal with the ACL. Rudd denied he said this, despite three witness reports.
Greenwich points out that Gillard has never spoken at an LGBT community event, including the Rainbow Labor group in the party she leads.
‘Gay and lesbian Australians and our families want a prime minister who shows us equal respect and does not legitimize hate, and at the moment Julia Gillard is not that prime minister,’ Greenwich said.