Last night on ABC’s Q&A, a pastor said many people he had spoken to would not be voting for Kevin Rudd on Saturday due to his views on same-sex marriage. Here’s what the PM had to say in response.
On the question of marriage equality, you are right. I took a position three, four, five months ago, well before coming back to the prime ministership, because I concluded in my conscience, through an informed conscience and a Christian conscience, it was the right thing to do.
Let me tell you why. Number one, I do not believe people when they are born choose their sexuality. They are gay if they are born gay. You don’t decide at some later stage in life to be one thing or the other. It is how people are built. Therefore, the idea this is somehow an abnormal condition is just wrong. I don’t get that. I think it is a completely ill-founded view.
Secondly, if you accept it is natural and normal for someone to be gay because that’s the way they are, then it follows from that that I don’t think it is right to say that if these two folk here who are in love with each other and are of the same gender should be denied the opportunity for legal recognition of the duration of their relationship by having marriage equality.
The pastor’s response? “The thing is that every pastor - marriage is between husbands and wives. Jesus said a man shall leave his father and mother and be married and that’s the biblical definition. I just believe in what the bible says and I’m just curious for you Kevin, if you call yourself a Christian, why don’t you believe the words of Jesus in the bible?” To which Kevin Rudd replied:
Well mate if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says slavery is a natural condition. Because St Paul said in the New Testament, slaves be obedient to your masters. And therefore we should have fought for the Confederacy in the US Civil War. I mean for goodness sake, the human condition and social conditions change.
What is the fundamental principle of the New Testament? It is one of universal love. Loving your fellow man. If we get obsessed of the definition of that through a form of sexuality, then I think we are missing the centrality of what the gospel - whether you call it a personal gospel, a social gospel or a spiritual gospel - is all about.
Therefore I go back to my question, if you think homosexuality is an unnatural condition, then frankly I cannot agree with you based on any element of the science. And therefore if a person’s sexuality is as they are made, then you’ve got to ask the second question. Should, therefore, their loving relationships be legally recognised and the conclusion I have reached is that they should.