In a surprisingly about face Tony Abbot has softened his anti gay rhetoric and said he now supports same sex relationships.
He still does not support same sex marriage but he would be willing to 'look at' same sex civil unions. Source
Whilst this is an interesting development for same sex equality it still fails to reach the needed equality of full same sex marriage.
Politics is a funny thing when staunch anti gay politicians publicly change their views, and I must admit I am a total sceptic when it comes to these sorts of statements.
There are two perspectives here I suppose, on the one hand civil unions would be a great stepping stone towards equality for same sex relationships and if the opposition actually supported them we would have civil unions in Australia relatively quickly.
On the other hand civil unions do nothing more than continue the discrimination against same sex couples and still place them as inequitable.
The argument is if we accept the lesser of civil unions the fear is the politicians will then say we have 'equality' and the potential for full same sex marriage rights will be taken off the table for the foreseeable future.
But on the other side of the argument, is Australia politically and socially capable of giving us full same sex marriage rights in the foreseeable future?
It's a hard choice of what to push for that is politically and socially capable of being won.
My own personal view is we must push for incremental change when we can get it, make it clear that it's still not enough but take it none the less and then push for the next incremental change.
It's a dangerous argument but I am not sure that politically we can get full same sex marriage rights without having an incremental step.