Jeff Kennett Supports Gay Marriage
Written by Alex Greenwich
Thursday, 08 March 2012 06:22
JEFF KENNETT'S SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY WELCOMED PRESSURE INCREASES ON ABBOTT TO ALLOW GENUINE FREE VOTE
Marriage equality advocates have praised former Victorian Liberal Premier, Jeff Kennett, for supporting equality for same-sex couples.
During an interview this morning on Melbourne radio station 3AW with announcer Neil Mitchell, Mr Kennett said he has "re-examined" his views on same-sex marriage.
"As long as you don't break a law against me, why should I allow sexuality to prevent you from living your life as you want to", Mr Kennett said.
"If people are living a happier life in a gay relationship which ends up in marriage, then why would I in any way want to prevent it...I want people to be happy...I'm in favour of it."
"It goes against the tenets I was brought up with...but I think there's something more important...I think it's happiness...I think it's the quality of life that we lead...I don't oppose gay marriage." (full details here)
Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich said Mr Kennett is an example of the many thousands of Australians whose views are changing on the issue.
"Like many other Australians, Jeff Kennett has been on a journey that involves talking to same-sex couples about their lives and reflecting about the issue."
"His destination, like the destination of most Australians, is an open heart and mind in support of equality."
Mr Greenwich said Mr Kennett's statement increases pressure on Coalition Leader, Tony Abbott, to allow all Coalition members of parliament to vote according to the conscience without fear of losing their positions within the party or on the shadow front bench.
"Mr Kennett joins a growing number of senior Coalition figures who support marriage equality, increasing pressure on Tony Abbott to allow a genuine free vote for all MPs and Senators", Mr Greenwich said.
"Clearly, for Mr Kennett this issue is about people not politics and it should be for Mr Abbott as well."
Marriage equality has the support for former NSW LIberal Premier, Nick Greiner, senior Howard Government Minister, Amanda Vanstone and South Australian Liberal Leader, Isobel Redmond.
A Liberal conscience vote has the support of NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, National Deputy Leader and Barnaby Joyce and fmr Coalition leader, Malcolm Turnbull.
The news comes as the NSW Coalition has allowed a free vote on an upcoming motion of support for marriage equality (details here)
"The NSW Coalition has shown great respect for the party's many supporters of marriage equality. State MPs will now be able to represent the majority of Australians who support reform when voting on this motion". Mr Alex Greenwich said.