Prime minister, a practising Christian, hits back at religious right by saying Bible preaches universal love among all people
The Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has launched an impassioned defence of same-sex marriage just days before the general election, telling a religious radio station that his position is compatible with his Christian faith and the New Testament’s message of universal love.
Challenged by a pastor on a Q&A programme on Monday night as to why as a Christian he did not follow the teaching of the Bible, that marriage was between a man and a woman, Rudd replied: “Well, mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition because St Paul said in the new testament: ‘slaves be obedient to your masters,’ and therefore we should all have fought for the confederacy in the US civil war.”
He added: “I mean, for goodness sake, the human condition and social conditions change. What is the central principle of the new testament? It is one of universal love, loving your fellow man,” Rudd said, during a passionate performance in which he insisted he was still not contemplating losing Saturday’s election, despite Labor’s declining standing in the opinion polls.
The opposition leader, Tony Abbot, has taken a firm stance against same-sex marriage, which he appeared recently to dismiss as “the fashion of the moment”.
Rudd changed his position before returning to the Labor leadership this year, publishing an essay to explain his views. He has promised to resubmit legislation legalising same-sex marriage within 100 days, if Labor is re-elected.
“I do not believe people choose their sexuality; they are gay if they are born gay,” Rudd said during Monday night’s program on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
“It is how people are built, and therefore the idea that this is somehow an abnormal condition is wrong … If you accept it is natural and normal to be gay, then it follows from that … people should not be denied the opportunity for legal recognition … of their relationship.”
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