Aussie PM (and homophobe) John Howard's government routed at the polls
Blenders from Down Under, please report in on this good news. The Labor Party, headed up by Kevin Rudd, was responsible for the change over. Howard even lost his seat in Parliament. (365gay):
“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.
The vote ends longstanding disagreements between Howard’s Liberals and Australia’s gay community over recognizing same-sex relationships.
In 2004 Howard’s government passed legislation limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.
In February for the second time Howard’s government quashed an attempt by the Australian Capital Territory to enact civil union legislation. The government said that it violated the gay marriage ban.
It should be noted that it’s unclear whether governance under Rudd would result in significant expansion of LGBT rights in the country. He’s on record as opposing marriage equality, but supports equal pension rights for gay couples.
Bush definitely won’t find a friend in Rudd — he’s wants to withdraw Australia’s 550 combat troops in Iraq, and says he will sign on to the Kyoto Protcol — leaving the U.S. as the only industrialized nation not on board to reduce greenhouse gases outlined in the pact.