fraidy cats

Is Australia PM Julia Gillard Fighting Gay Marriage Because She’s Scared of the Church?

Australia’s former Labor Party leader Mark Latham, who’s spent the last five years (usually appropriately) attacking his former political colleagues, says the only reason he backed a ban on same-sex marriages in 2004 is because he didn’t want to face the wrath of priests. Might Julia Gillard, the sitting prime minister, and her cabinet of quislings be doing the same?

Activists there are demanding, likely without any expectation of results, Gillard — seen here with her boyfriend Tim Mathieson — own up to the root of her support of the marriage ban. “Many people find it hard to believe Julia Gillard personally opposes same-sex marriages, so now that Mark Latham has let the cat out of the bag we want Julia Gillard to come clean on whether it is religious prejudice which is standing in the way of our legal equality and civil rights,” says Australian Marriage Equality National Secretary Peter Furness.

That comes after Latham telling a radio show, “I regret the fact that in 2004 I didn’t tell the churches to go get nicked and Labor had a policy of allowing gay marriages. Most people who are reasonable about it recognise that love is the important thing. If two people love each other, no matter their gender and their background, that’s the thing that should define a good marriage, and society should respect that. Unfortunately parties are scared of the churches. If you’re running for office, you don’t want some parish priest denouncing you from the pulpit on Sunday before the election…. It’s that power of the churches that holds it back.”

Sometimes I forget how many similarities American heads of state have with the people whose toilet water flushes in reverse.