Kevin Rudd … talked up his support for gay marriage. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Three gay marriage advocates have recalled a conversation in which Kevin Rudd told them he would ”fix” the marriage law and that Julia Gillard had previously spoken in support of the change when she was a member of his cabinet.
The conversation took place at a party held by gay marriage lobbyists during the Labor Party national conference last December and it included Mr Rudd, then the minister for foreign affairs, the doctor Kerryn Phelps, her partner Jackie Stricker, and another campaigner, Geoff Thomas.
”He [Mr Rudd] absolutely said that if he was prime minister it [gay marriage] would have gone through,” Ms Stricker told The Sun-Herald. ”We couldn’t believe how open and forthright he was.”
Mr Thomas, a Vietnam veteran with a gay son, said Mr Rudd told him: ”I hope you know if I was prime minister this would be law.”
Mr Rudd had gone on to say: ”The reason Julia Gillard is in power is because of a deal she did with the Australian Christian Lobby and [conservative union boss] Joe De Bruyn.”
Mr Thomas added: ”He said in cabinet she [previously] argued in favour of same-sex marriage.”
Ms Stricker and Dr Phelps have corroborated the comments. But Mr Rudd denies their version. His spokeswoman said: ”Mr Rudd does not intend to comment on multiple private conversations he has had over time on civil unions and same-sex marriage – other than to say that the content of the reported conversations contained in your inquiry is not accurate, including your references to cabinet discussions, which, as a matter of principle, Mr Rudd does not comment on.”
This article originally appeared on: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/rudd-outed-pms-gay-marriage-support-20120721-22gxy.html