Sydney: Australia`s centre-left ruling party
on Saturday voted for national recognition of same-sex unions, but
stopped short of lifting a ban on gay marriage.
The national Labor conference voted to develop a system
for the registration and recognition of same-sex
relationships, after gay rights advocates failed to gather
enough numbers for a resolution to legalise gay marriage.
But frontbencher Anthony Albanese told delegates while it
was not his "ideal position," the watered-down resolution was
an important reflection of shifting public attitudes.
"History is moving forward on these issues," said
Albanese, presenting the motion for vote.
"When I first proposed equality for same-sex couples in
superannuation in 1997 that was a controversial issue. Today
that is an issue of consensus."
"I believe that the issue of equality for all is
unstoppable," he added, prompting wild applause.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd won the 2007 election on a
platform that supported the former conservative government`s
legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a
Rudd, who considers himself a moderate Christian, said
earlier this week that he "fully respected" the integrity of
same-sex relationships but would not change Labor`s ban on gay