In a remarkable turn of events, Kevin
Rudd, Australia's former prime minister, has returned to his post,
roughly a month after endorsing gay marriage.
Julia Gillard, a staunch opponent of
marriage equality, ousted Rudd as prime minister in 2010.
On Wednesday, Gillard faced her third
leadership test since taking office. Rudd won by 57 votes to 45.
In a televised appearance after the
vote, Gillard said that she respected the decision of her party.
The vote comes ahead of a general
election to be held in September. Polls suggest that the Labor Party
is on the outs and that Rudd is more popular with voters than
Writing last month in a blog post, Rudd
said that the had reversed course on the issue of gay nuptials.
“I have come to the conclusion that
church and state can have different positions and practices on the
question of same sex marriage,” he wrote. “I believe that the
secular Australian state should be able to recognize same sex
Rudd becomes Australia's first prime
minister to support marriage equality.
Rodney Croome, national director for
Australian Marriage Equality, described the turn of events as a game
“Having a prime minister who supports
marriage equality opens up a new chapter in the debate because, as
we have seen in the US, New Zealand, France and Britain, such
high-level leadership is crucial to achieving this reform,” Croome