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Julia Gillard Is Australia’s First Female Prime Minister, And Its 900th To Support Marriage Bans

Congratulations to Julia Gillard, who just replaced Labor Party colleague Kevin Rudd as Australia’s prime minster, becoming the first lady to hold the post. She has a severe lung infection to thank! And by the way, she’s supports the government’s decision to endorse marriage discrimination!

“[T]he government’s position is very clear that marriage is between a man and a woman,” she told a reporter last year, adding that it’s a position she “certainly” agrees with. One step forward, one step back.

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  • Soakman

    One step forward? How so? I spent the last year in Australia and it is one of the most racist/homophobic places I’ve ever been. This doesn’t surprise me. All I heard about was how America was such a horrible country when I was there.

    Reality check please. Frustrating.

  • alan brickman

    Women hate gays because they’re men…big surprise…

  • HarleyD

    Australian cabinet ministers don’t have same latitude to speak their own mind like their US counterparts. Gillard was obligated to defend the old policy, and even say she agreed with it, whether or not she actually did. Wait till she says something on the issue as prime minister before declaring her a lost cause.

  • juz

    yayy julia, we’ll see how she goes. k rudd got the boot for not being a party man sssooo i don’t really think we can expect julia to make the same mistake

  • Chris

    Julia Gillard is actually a member of labour’s socialist left. I find it very difficult to believe she’s against gay rights. The difference here is that your comparing congressional politics to parliamentary politics :S ministers cant talk shit about government policies except bob their ehads in agreement.

    And soakman where exactly in australia did you go? Sydney? The desert? Coz i hate to break it to ya, but that’s not Australia.
    And please, as if America is any better than Australia! The fact is both the US and Australia have liberal areas and conservative areas. Neither one is exemplary of the other.

  • whatever

    she’s progressive by aussie standards. that’s the best one could hope for.

  • Jason Dancin'

    Aussies have funny accents.

  • Chris

    Julia Gillard is actually a member of labour’s socialist left. I find it very difficult to believe she’s against gay rights. The difference here is that your comparing congressional politics to parliamentary politics :S ministers cant talk shit about government policies except bob their ehads in agreement.

    And soakman where exactly in australia did you go? Sydney? The desert? Coz i hate to break it to ya, but that’s not Australia.
    And please, as if America is any better than Australia! The fact is both the US and Australia have liberal areas and conservative areas.

  • Sceth

    @HarleyD: I’ve also never heard an incoming Australian government outright bash the last. Would that be a major eyebrow-raiser in Australian society?

  • Jason Dancin'

    Don’t thumbs down me! They do!

  • Jon (not that one)

    From my understanding this had more to do with cutting taxes for the international mining industry than anything else. Australia seems to be 20 years behind even the U.S. concerning Gay issues.

  • Andrew

    I would like to point out that unlike the US, the Australia Governement recognises de-facto relationhips gay or straight, allows gays to serve in the military etc. This applies for immigration, taxation, welfare purposes etc. The US does not recognise de-facto relationships go or straight and of course still has not repealed DADT. So while Australia certainly can improve in many ways in equality (particularly when compared to some European nations) I think it is not entirely correct to state that it is 20 uears behind the US.

  • ewe

    Maybe Jodie Foster will mock her out somehow some way?

  • whatever

    @Jason Dancin’: Agreed. I can’t help but titter with I hear one talk.

  • Nick Farben

    @JasonDancin You’ll find that in Australia, we have many accents so to say that someone has an “Australian accent” is actually sort of a misnomer. It would be as erroneous as assuming that all Americans speak like Alaskans.

    @Soakman Generalising that all of Australia is racist or homophobic is just that, generalising. States differ in attitudes so greatly. And in contrast with many countries including the US, Australians have no strong religious faith (except maybe Atheism), so attitudes are easier to change.

    While we simply can’t account for all the racist and homophobic assholes you’ll meet if you visit all the tourist traps, obnoxious clubs, rural towns, etc… you can’t just lay a blanket term on the entire country. We removed the ban on gays in the military more than a decade ago, We have national heroes who are openly gay (and cute, ala Matthew Mitcham), a lesbian in the highest court in the country.

    I live in Melbourne with my partner and the landlord picked us over a straight couple with kids because the home insurance company has better rates for gay couples than a family with young children. Go figure.

    And the last I checked, it is much easier to migrate to Australia than the USA or the UK.

    You simply can’t generalise an entire continent with all its different state governments and state laws as being one thing.

  • Berto

    Aww we’re definitely not 20 years behind the USA.
    If anything we’re slightly ahead.

    We dont have gay marriage but our government recognises gay partnerships as being exactly the same to straight ones. And you dont get very much more rights in the eyes of the government for being married apart from divorce and child custody.

    Look up Virginia Bell. She’s our lesbian supreme court judge.

    As for the accent, if you come on down, you’ll see that it is we who think you have a funny accent :)

  • Berto

    On another note, I don’t care too much for Julia Gillard but the opposition leader Tony Abbott is fucking medieval in his views. He’s our version of George W. Bush, only less funny.

  • Nick Farben

    @Berto I know, and when the spill was still happening, Rudd was suddenly swinging far left. Would have been interesting if he stayed in power. He could have probably pushed to legalise same-sex marriage just for the hell of it… and the mining tax and ETS would still be more unpopular.

    It’s good to mention that Australia, unlike the USA, isn’t a two-party landscape… our Green Party is actually influential enough to get seats in the parliament, and often hold the swing vote.

    We need to vote the Greens in more. They are very gay friendly.

  • M

    I prefer the US over any other country. True, it’s not perfect but it’s still a hell of a lot better than most countries. Yes, that includes Australia. We have beautiful cities, skylines, and the people are generally nice. I really wish the gay community would stop complaining and say ‘I wish we were more like Europe, Austrailia..blah blah blah..” We are not, lets not lower our standards!

  • Mike

    Australia isn’t 20 years behind the U.S. on gay issues but it’s 20 years behind Canada.

    Isn’t this woman supposed to be a liberal in the more progressive of the two main Australian political parties? Hopefully, she’ll see the light and endorse equality in the near future.

  • jason

    Australia is a horrible, backward hole. I avoided it on my last around-the-world trip.

  • tjr101

    Aussie Aussie oui oui!!
    I just love when they say that lol

  • DarkSocks ManGravy

    I can’t say that I would certainly almost for sure agree partially with all that wasn’t said in this article. I would, however, like to say that I peed in a horse once.

  • robert

    @M: “We have beautiful cities, skylines, and the people are generally nice.”

    I didn’t know the USA had the monopoly on those attributes. Some objective evidence would be helpful.

  • SaveYourSoul_WorshipTheFlyingSpaghettiMonster

    It’s ironic that she would have such strong feelings about marriage, since she has never been married, but chose instead to shack up with her long-term boyfriend Tim Mathieson. Can you say hypocritical c***?

  • pawsum

    “The dingo’s got my baby . . . And my respect for gay equality!”

  • Mike

    900th Prime Minister? She is our 27th Prime Minister. Really, queerty, do some research.

  • Hass

    As HarleyD pointed out earlier, Australia’s politicians are beholden to a thing called “cabinet solidarity”. The cabinet makes a decision on something and collectively owns that decision. All cabinet ministers are obliged to defend that decision in public(even if they voted against it in cabinet).

    It works the same way in Britain. Sometimes a minister will feel so strongly about an issue they resign from cabinet in order to criticise the policy from the backbench. This is quite rare though and usually only applies to major disagreements over policies relating to war or major tax reform.

    Party solidarity is also a lot stronger in Australia. In the Labor party MPs don’t just go out on a limb with their own agenda. They work to change policy within the party framework and then the party defends the policy with a united front.

    Julia Gillard’s views on gay marriage/civil unions could well be very different to the official line she touted under Kevin Rudd.

  • Hass

    It’s also worth noting that Julia Gillard is an atheist.

    She took an affirmation yesterday rather than an oath, which means she chose not to say “so help me God” and opted against holding a bible.

    Her predecessor Kevin Rudd was a strong Christian.

  • juz

    Just incase for you americans. Liberals in australia are the repuplicans and labor is the democrats. we had democrats but that’s a whoolle other story

  • jason

    Yes, she’s never been married. Maybe she truly doesn’t think marriage is important. Her public persona opposing gay marriage is probably an example of a sleazy Australian politician pandering to conservative Australians.

  • Nick Farben

    The Australian Labor Party is like the US Democrats. They are the more “left leaning” of they two, but mostly centre-right in policies. Kevin Rudd/Julia Gillard do not outwardly support gay marriage, but they do support the notion of civil unions and equal protection ala Obama. They take baby steps towards the left only when they know that the public vote is with them.

    The Australian Liberals have a very contradictory name since they are not socially liberal. They do however claim to be economically liberal. They are akin to the US Republicans. Their current leader Tony Abbott not only doesn’t believe in gay rights, he doesn’t believe in abortion, teaching sex in schools, employee rights, etc.

    Since this is an election year, both parties are starting to sharpen their message. They will adopt blanket opposition against the other party, and solidarity with their own party, regardless of their own views. Once they win office, they will likely flip flop back to their own convictions. The trick is to politically downplay your flip flops, cos if you don’t, you’ll enrage the public and lose support within your party.

  • FreddY

    Should note that there’s always been a lot of lesbian rumours surrounding Julia Gillard. When asked about it, she usually laughs it off or gives no comment which is odd if you know Aussie politicians – they always have a comment.

    On another note, I find all this anti-Australian and anti-US mudslinging in the comments to be quite odd. There are a lot of americans in Oz and vice versa. The 2 countries are very close allies.

    We are both colonial English offshoots.

    We both have suffered terrorist attacks on our citizens.

    We both are fighting the war on terror.

    We both screwed up the talks at Copenhagen.

    We both have a powerful conservative base that seems to single-handedly hold us back from progress.

    We both have a political minority leading the country (yours black, ours female).

    We both have leaders that only support civil unions rather than full marriage.

    We both have border control issues because people from all over the world desperately want to get in.

    We both have a white majority population struggling but changing to accept a growing minority population.

    So why are we arguing? It’s not like you’re comparing a two vastly different cultures. Anything you like or dislike about Australia is the same thing we like and dislike about you. Whenever you meet a moron in Australia, an Australian meets a moron in the US. The only reason we are so vocal about each other has to be because we are close. Australia and the USA would never be on opposing sides in a war, ever. We are family.

  • Berto


  • Jay

    Who cares?

    If our Congress declared that as of tomorrow gays could have civil unions that would merit all the benefits and legalities of marriage between a man and a woman, I’d support that policy. Even if they insisted that the term marriage was reserved for hets. Civil unions for the Homos and marriage for the hets, but both are equal. In all respects. I’ve been with my partner for over 12 years, and I’m sick and tired of hearing dumb ‘mos who think that a relationship is a weekend fuck lecture me on how neanderthal I am when I don’t insist on the word marriage. I’m also an attorney, so I tell them to STFU. Its not that I don’t support gay marriage, but I am comfortable with reaching equality through means that don’t get stuck on syntax. The problem in the US isn’t one of civil unions versus marriage. The problem is that conservatives, Republicans and demagogues want NO rights for gays, and that includes any recognition of our relationships.

  • jason

    Australia needs the USA far more than the USA needs Australia. Australia would be overtaken by its northern Asian neighbors if it weren’t for the USA.

    Australia is very backward. My British friend thinks it’s all hicks.

  • Jodie Manning

    Julia Gillard is a Union stooge. She is a socialist and we dont want her leading the australian people. Horrible woman. She speaks like a british houswife without the pommie accent.
    To all of you who are critising Australia. Have a look at Britian what a dump of a place, Crime poverty, terrible people. dull and grey, depressing dump. You would have to have rocks in your head to live there.

  • stew

    Who’s going to invade Australia? China’s too smart to invade and Indonesia doesn’t have the resorces (or a good reason really).
    Yes, her South Australian meets Western suburbs accent is a little annoying, I like her mostly because my maths teacher called her “a bit common”. She likes Abbot…

  • claud

    Jay – you’re missing the point… ‘marriages’ and ‘civil unions’ may have the same rights here in Australia, but why should only hets be allowed to say they will have a marriage and gays only allowed to say they’re having a civil union? Once you start separating the two, even if only two labels, then you’re giving birth to the seed of discrimination. It’s the symbolism, which although you play down, forms the very basis of equality. To you or me this may not matter, but what about those gay christians out there that want to have a marriage like their christian brothers, should they have to down play it – not have it in a church, not have the symbolic ceremony, because they’re gay? No… they should like their het brothers, be able to enter a marriage, with all the symbolic frills that come along with it, regardless of race, colour, creed or sexuality.

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