It’s a bit surprising that the United States had a marriage equality-support President before Australia had a leader with that position, but Julia Gillard was famously opposed, though no one could really figure out why. Gillard was deposed on Wednesday, and Kevin Rudd once again became Prime Minister, a position he has held before. The difference is that this time around, his thinking has evolved on marriage equality:
Mr Rudd, a committed Christian, said in his first press conference after deposing Julia Gillard as Labor leader that he believed all MPs should be allowed a conscience vote on the legalisation of gay marriage.
Mr Rudd opposed gay marriage during his first term as prime minister but said he changed his mind after discussions with several people including his daughter, Jessica Rudd.
“Wherever I go in Australia, it just hits you in the face what young people think about this, which is that our current arrangements are just wrong and offensive to people,” he said.
Mr Rudd last month wrote a lengthy blog post explaining his change of view, saying he had been on a “difficult personal journey” and was influenced by a recent encounter with a gay former colleague. Polls show a majority of Australians now support gay marriage.
Rudd is pushing for party MPs to be allowed a conscience vote on the subject in the next Parliament.