Penny Wong blasts 'bigoted' Christian Lobby
Finance Minister Penny Wong has slammed the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) for "bigotry" and "peddling prejudice" over its inflammatory remarks likening the children of gay couples to those of the Stolen Generation.
The South Australian senator, who has a baby daughter with her partner Sophie Allouache, reacted furiously to comments from the ACL in response to ex-prime minister Kevin Rudd's u-turn earlier this week in favour of gay marriage.
ACL managing director Lyle Shelton said Mr Rudd's change of heart could set up a new Stolen Generation because it "ignored the consequence of robbing children of their identity".
"Marriage is not just an affectionate relationship between two people regardless of gender," he said. "Marriage has always been about providing stability and biological identity for children wherever possible."
Senator Wong was among many who condemned the ACL's comments as out of touch and offensive.
"This sort of bigotry really has no place in modern Australia," she said.
"Regardless of his views on marriage equality, same-sex families exist and we have children, and our children are loved and our children are cherished and they deserve far more than the peddling of prejudice we've seen from (the ACL)."
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ian Hunter, who married his partner Leith Semmens overseas, said, "Frankly, it's appalling that they would be so insensitive to the views of people who've experienced Stolen Generations, or gay people who want to get married."
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have reiterated their opposition to gay marriage.
The ACL's Mr Shelton warned Mr Rudd's support for gay marriage would have political consequences.
"[It] will be a huge disappointment for Christians and leaves their hopes for the preservation of marriage clearly with the Coalition and Christian-based minor parties," he said.
"If this is an attempt to wedge Julia Gillard, it will cost Mr Rudd the last of his following in the Christian constituency."