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Boy, 6, asks Julia Gillard why she opposed gay marriage

Boy, 6, asks Julia Gillard why she opposed gay marriage

A six-year-old boy has asked former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard why she opposed gay marriage.

During a question and answer session at the Sydney Opera House, he asked: ‘How come you didn’t let gay people get married?’

It was her first extended interview since losing her office to Kevin Rudd, and then to current Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Gillard replied: ‘I do understand that the position I took on gay marriage perplexed many people, given who I am and so many of my beliefs’.

She reflected on her formative years at university where she became a feminist activist.

‘We weren’t talking about gay marriage as women and feminists, we were critiquing marriage,’ she said.

Gillard found the idea of wearing a white dress to ‘symbolize virginity’ and to be ‘given away’ by one man to another puzzling. ‘What on earth would I do that for?’

She mentioned ‘I’m conscious that maybe these views have dated and maybe the way people interpret marriage now is different’.

‘I think marriage in our society could play its traditional role, and we could come up with other institutions which value partnerships, value love, value lifetime commitment’.

Gillard explained: ‘I have a valuable lifetime commitment and haven’t felt the need, at any point, to make that into a marriage’.

The former PM closed by hoping a conscience vote would be initiated for the federal Parliament to act on the matter.

Abbott opposes any conscience vote which would move to change the federal marriage laws.

His opposition, and of Gillard, conflicts with the majority of Australians who in polls indicate support of marriage equality.

A 2013 poll conducted by Pew Research shows 79% of Australians viewed homosexuality as acceptable by society. This makes it the fifth most supportive country in the world behind Czech Republic, Canada, Germany and Spain.

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