"SYDNEY — Gay marriage has popped up as the surprise question in the Australian election campaign, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her right-leaning opponent Tony Abbott repeatedly challenged on the issue.
Gillard, an unmarried atheist who lives with her partner, and staunch Catholic family man Abbott both say that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
On Friday, Labor leader Gillard told The Australian newspaper she rejected same-sex weddings because "the marriage act has a special status in our culture", adding that she appreciated "our heritage as a Christian country".
Abbott also faced questioning, with one voter asking him when he would "overcome your fear and ignorance of gay people and give them the dignity and respect that you'd happily give to all other Australians".
The former trainee priest said that while he did not support same-sex marriage, he hoped he would "always find it in my heart to treat people the way everyone should be treated -- with dignity and respect".
Civil unions, which provide the same legal rights as marriage, are available in some parts of Australia but the country which boasts one of the largest gay and lesbian Mardi Gras parades in the world does not allow same-sex marriage."AFP (French; Governmental; Secular; Promotes Homosexual Marital Special Interests)20 / 08 | August / 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Homosexual marriage definition special interest campaigns not of interest to Australian Party Leaders
Quote noted by Marc Aupiais