Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Monday defended his endorsement of gay marriage.

Rudd reversed his opposition on the issue in May and has since promised a marriage bill in the first 100 days if his Labor Party wins re-election.

Rudd was questioned about his stance during a nationally televised forum by New Hope Church Pastor Matt Prater.

“Every pastor, we do marriages between husbands and wives. And Jesus said a man shall leave his father and mother and be married. That's the biblical definition. I just believe in what the Bible says. And I'm just curious, for you Kevin, if you call yourself a Christian, why don't you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?” Prater asked.

“Well, mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition,” Rudd answered to a large applause from the audience. “Because St. Paul said in the New Testament: Salves be obedient to your masters. And therefore we should have all fought for the Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War.”

“I mean for goodness sake, the human condition and social condition change. What is the fundamental principle of the New Testament? It is one of universal love. Loving your fellow man.”

“If we get obsessed with a particular definition of that through a form of sexuality, then I think we are missing the centrality of what the Gospel … is all about.”

“If you think homosexuality is an unnatural condition, then frankly I cannot agree with you based on any element of the science. And therefore if a person's sexuality is as they are made, then you've got to ask the second question: Should therefore their loving relationships be legally recognized?”

“And the conclusion I've reached is that they should,” Rudd added.

Rudd's opponent, Tony Abbott, the federal leader of the Liberal Party, opposes marriage equality.

Abbott's conservative coalition is favored to win Saturday's elections after six years out of power.