Australians have voted out the anti-gay government of Prime Minister John Howard after eleven years of rule. Howard also lost his seat in parliament.
“I accept full responsibility for the Liberal Party campaign, and I therefore accept full responsibility for the coalition’s defeat in this election campaign,” Howard said in his concession speech.
His government has consistently opposed granting legal recognition to same-sex couple partnerships and passed legislation to restrict the definition of marriage to exclude gays and lesbians.
The Labour Party’s Kevin Rudd is now set to become Australia’s new prime minister. How gay-friendly Rudd’s government will be remains to be seen.
He has previously come out against legalising same-sex marriage saying in October that, “On the institution of marriage itself, our view is between a man and woman and it’s just been our traditional, continuing view.”
Nevertheless he has said he would implement most of the recommendations of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission which would include changing tax and benefits laws that discriminate against same-sex couples.