But Gillard has a "strong conviction that the institution of marriage has come to have a particular meaning and standing in our culture and nation and should continue unchanged." Gillard, like so many defenders of "traditional" marriage does not live by her own words. She is not married and instead is shacked up with man. In "traditional" terms she is "living in sin."
|Gillard and the man she "shacks up" with.|
Perhaps she should be thankful that marriage has not remained unchanged instead.
Gillard has faced a growing complaint within her own ruling party about her constant attempts to prevent a vote on marriage equality. So she is pulling a parliamentary maneuver to allow a vote while making sure it fails.
In the parliamentary system the normal process if for the party caucus to determine the position of the party as whole. Members of Parliament represent their party and are normally bound to vote along with the decision of the caucus. If this were followed, the Labor caucus would vote for marriage equality and all MPs would vote along with that decision. Given that Labor holds 72 of 150 seats, their votes with a handful of independents and/or Green Party MPs would be sufficient to pass the measure.
But, a handful of Labor MPs, such as Gillard herself, are opposed to equal rights for gay couples. So Gillard is calling for "conscience" vote which would allow MPs to ignore the party caucus and vote against the measure. This would divide the Labor Party vote in parliament and is likely to send the measure to defeat.
However, supporters of marriage equality, such as Senator Arbib, say that if the opposition Liberal Party allows their MPs a conscience vote as well, then social liberals in this economically conservative party would be sufficient to make up for Labor Party defectors.
Gillard has made it clear she will not allow her Party to reflect the wishes of party members or MPs. She says the government will not bring forth legislation for equality but any Labor MP is free to introduce a private member's bill. Gillard has promised to fight the party membership on the matter at party conference.