Singer Darren Hayes has criticised the attitude of Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s towards gay marriage after his British ‘husband’ was forced to fly to Australia on a tourist visa.
His comments come as the main opposition leader in Australia, Labour’s Kevin Rudd, said he also opposes gay marriage.
Brisbane-born Hayes married Briton Richard Cullen in London last year.
“It makes me angry and frustrated,” the former Savage Garden frontman told Australian newspaper the Herald Sun .
“I’m Australian and the way the law sits I can’t bring my partner home as my partner.”
“That to me is an infringement of my civil rights – a very un-Australian thing.
“I would never have voted for John Howard and I encourage people not to.
“I don’t think he speaks for this country in the same way I don’t think George Bush speaks for the US.”
Prime Minister John Howard’s Liberal government passed federal legislation in 2004 banning same-sex marriage.
Last week, Howard and the Opposition leader Kevin Rudd made their pitch for the Christian vote, in a webcast streamed live to more than 700 churches across the country.
During the session, which was also broadcast on Australia’s ABC Local Radio, Kevin Rudd was asked about his views on gay marriage by a Christian leader.
“The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission have recently made a recommendation that the definition of de facto marriage be extended to include homosexuals,” he said.
Asked: “Would your party reject these attempts to undermine marriage?”
Mr Rudd replied: “I have a pretty basic view on this, as reflected in the position adopted by our party, and that is, that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
ABC Local Radio reported that Rudd had ruled out recognising same sex marriage or civil unions.
Under a Federal Labour Government, gay couples might be allowed to “register” their relationships.
Hayes is in Melbourne to promote his new single On the Verge of Something Wonderful, which made its debut at No. 29 in Australia this week and is No. 10 on the UK midweek chart.
His double album, This Delicate Thing We’ve Made, is to be released on August 20th.
“Every time I come home there’s this whole kerfuffle,” Hayes told the Herald Sun .
“We have to get Richard a visa. He’s my partner, I share my life with him.
“I’ve inherited all the rights that ‘normal’ couples have.
“That’s my right as a human being. It really annoys me.”
Hayes said since coming out last year he has become a default spokesman for gay marriage.
“I love my record, I’d much rather be speaking about my record but at the same time I unwittingly become a spokesperson for something I really do believe in,” he said.
Hayes also revealed that he plans to be a father in the future.
“Every day the adoption laws seem to be changed or manipulated to block that dream, but obviously I’d adopt and it won’t happen for a while but it’s totally going to happen.”
Last weekend hundreds of people marched on Sydney’s Town Hall calling for the Federal Government to legalise same-sex marriages.
Greens senator Kerry Nettle said the rally, which began at Taylor Square in Sydney’s east, marked three years since the Howard Government decided against legalising gay marriages
“We saw the ban on same-sex marriage happen just before the federal election, and three years later we hear the Prime Minister talking about trying to impose a ban on same-sex adoptions from overseas, just before a federal election,” Senator Nettle told the rally, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
“It’s a clear pattern of the Prime Minister trying to garner votes from the conservative religious fundamentalists and in doing so seeking to scapegoat a particular section within out community.”
Thousands of people also took part in marches in Brisbane and Melbourne.