Yesterday’s comments by Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sky News’s Australian Agenda program supporting the current definition of marriage and the importance of the Bible, and her opposition to euthanasia is welcome and timely.
Ms Gillard told The Australian’s Paul Kelly and Peter Van Onselen that she was “on the conservative side” of the same-sex marriage debate “because of the way our society is and how we got here.”
“If I was in a different walk of life, if I'd continued in the law and was partner of a law firm now, I would express the same view, that I think for our culture, for our heritage, the Marriage Act and marriage being between a man and a woman has a special status,” she said.
Although an atheist, Ms Gillard gave her support to the Bible as integral to our culture.
"I'm on the record as saying things like I think it's important for people to understand their Bible stories, not because I'm an advocate of religion - clearly, I'm not - but once again, what comes from the Bible has formed such an important part of our culture," she said.
On euthanasia, Ms Gillard expressed her sympathy that she could understand people wanting the choice in the end stage of life but has never been satisfied there were sufficient safeguards in pro-euthanasia advocates’ policy proposals. The lack of appropriate safeguards to protect the vulnerable is one of the primary concerns the ACL has in relation to legalising euthanasaia.
“I have always been concerned that this would open the door that would lead ultimately not to people having choices but to open the door to exploitation and perhaps callousness to people towards the end stage of life, that’s my concern,” she said.
Ms Gillard’s comments are important in distancing herself from the Greens’ agenda, however it is imperative that people continue to let their MPs know they support marriage between a man and a woman. Sign up to our petition to keep marriage between a man and a woman at www.makeastand.org.au
The territories’ rights bill, which would remove the veto power of the federal executive over territory laws, has been championed by the Greens due to grievances over Commonwealth intervention in ACT civil union law. The Senate committee’s rejection of that bill would further distance the Government from the Greens’ social agenda.