Australian opposition leader tells Christian anti-gay group: I believe in God and equal marriage
Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten has challenged a Christian group that fights against equal marriage – while addressing its own conference.
Mr Shorten – who became head of the Labor party last year when former PM Kevin Rudd resigned – was speaking to the Australian Christian Lobby, which fights against same-sex marriage, gay adoption rights, and anti-discrimination laws.
The defiant politician said at the group’s conference: “I believe in God and I believe in marriage equality.
“When I hear people invoking scriptures to attack blended families, I cannot stay silent. I do not agree.
“When I see people hiding behind the bible to insult and demonise people based on their sexuality I cannot stay silent, I do not agree.
“When I hear people allege that ‘God tells them’ that marriage equality is the first step on the road to polygamy and bigamy and bestiality, I cannot stay silent. I do not agree.”
“These prejudices do not reflect the Christian values I believe in.”
“I believe our current law does exclude some individuals it says to them that your relationship is not equally valued by the state, that your love is less equal under the law.
“We currently have a law that discriminates against adult couples on the basis of who they love.”
Ivan Hinton-Teoh of Australian Marriage Equality said: “It is the first time a leader of either major political party has used the forum to challenge the agenda of the conservative lobby group.
“It is powerful moment in our national history that a political leader, an affirmed Christian, has had both the confidence and conviction to use this forum to reflect the true diversity of Christian views.”
Watch the speech below: