This is the moment Vietnam veteran and proud father to a gay son Geoff Thomas addressed Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the hot topic she’d rather went away.
Thomas had previously asked opposition leader Tony Abbott about legalising gay marriage back in August 2010, but was unimpressed with the answer he got. See that clip here.
On last night’s live Q&A show on the ABC, the marriage equality supporter’s sensible but passionate question to the PM prompted the biggest round of applause heard on the hour-long program.
“Prime Minister, my name is Geoff Thomas,” he began, as his son Nathan looked on from the seat beside him. “I’m a Vietnam veteran, I’m a plumbing contractor and the proud father of a gay son.
“Almost two years ago I asked Tony Abbott whether he’d be prepared to treat gay and lesbian Australians with the dignity and respect that he would accord all other Australians. Now, over that period, he hasn’t changed his view but I believe that you have. The country now knows you stand side by side and as one with Tony Abbott and the extremist group the Australian Christian Lobby on this issue.
“Could you please explain to me that in a country that prides itself on freedom, equality and tolerance, how it is that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is in any way, in any sense, fair, just or consistent with the way Australians think today?”
Following the lengthy applause, Gillard thanked Thomas for his question, but provided her usual disappointing response.
“I can hear the passion in your voice, and the concern for your son, and so to hear from you is an important part of this evening,” she noted.
Explaining her opposition to marriage equality, Gillard referenced her own de facto status. “I think people in this room and beyond this room, know a bit about my personal life… I think that you can have a relationship of love and commitment and trust and understanding that doesn’t need a marriage certificate associated with it.”
Watch the marriage equality question answered by the Prime Minister on the clip below.
After the live show, Geoff and Nathan were invited backstage for a drink, where they got their photo taken with the Prime Minister.