By John Jalsevac

Australian PM John HowardSYDNEY, Australia, June 21, 2007 ( – Even as mounting pressure is being put on Australian Prime Minister John Howard to change his views on so-called homosexual “marriage”, the politician has restated his, and his government’s unequivocal opposition to the extending of the legal privileges of marriage to homosexual couples.

“We are not in favor of discrimination, but of course our views on the nature of marriage in our community are very well known and they won’t be changing,” Howard told Sky television.
  Howard, however, did say that he and his government would review a report by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission that is expected Friday that makes certain recommendations about entitlement for homosexual couples. “We will have a look at the Human Rights report,” said Howard. “I am not going to commit the Government to how it will respond. I haven’t seen the report yet.”

  Some in Australia have been quick to criticize the Australian PM for what they perceive as a politically suicidal stubbornness, especially as a poll recently released seems to indicate that a majority of Australians would like to see some of the legal privileges of marriage extended to homosexuals.

“It shows how out of touch both the government and the opposition are with Australians wanting to get rid of discrimination against same-sex couples,” Senator Bob Brown told reporters.

“We’re talking about the 21st century here, not last century: same sex couples should have the same rights as other couples and the Australian public want it that way,” he said.

In the past number of years John Howard has defied political stereotypes by standing firmly by his convictions, no matter what the political fallout, by consistently defending the notion that the traditional definition of marriage ought to be defended and retained for the good of the individual and society.

“There is a special place in Australian society for the institution of marriage, as historically understood, and we do not intend to allow that to be in any way undermined,” said Prime Minister John Howard last year, after condemning the move by an Australian territory to legalize same-sex unions.

“I believe very strongly that marriage is exclusively a union for life of a man and a woman to the exclusion of others,” Howard said, as reported by the Australian Associated Press in 2005. “That’s the common understanding of marriage in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and I would be opposed to the recognition of civil unions.”

In the past Howard has also come out strongly against same-sex adoption. “[Heterosexual adoption] gives children the best opportunity in life,” he said, according to a report in the Herald Sun. “I know for some that sounds harsh. I don’t think it’s harsh, I think it’s something that most people believe is the desired, the ideal outcome.”

See related coverage:

Australian PM Howard Says Government Will Overturn Same-Sex Union Law

Australian PM Opposes Homosexual Adoption


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