Recently elected Prime Minister (PM), Kevin Rudd of Australia has officially endorsed marriage equality, making him the first PM in the country to do so.
“Should our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay be fully embraced as full members of our wider society? The answer to that is unequivocally yes,” said Rudd.
“I have come to the conclusion that church and state can have different positions and practices on the question of same-sex marriage. I believe the secular Australian state should be able to recognize same-sex marriage.”
Rudd takes the position after former PM Julia Gillard was sacked by her party, just months before the next election, according to the Guardian.
Rudd won his new post with a 57 to 45 vote. He had previously served as Australia’s Prime Minister from 2007-2010.
“In 2007 the Australian people elected me to be their prime minister. That is a task that I resume today with humility, with honor and with an important sense of energy and purpose,” Rudd added.
Rudd also spoke kindly about his predecessor. Gillard was the first female Prime Minister of Australia.
“She is a woman of extraordinary intelligence, great strength, great energy. All of you across the nation would recognize those formidable attributes,” said Rudd. “Julia has achieved much under the difficult circumstances of minority government, helped by a dedicated set of ministers. She has been a remarkable reformer and I acknowledge those contributions this evening.”