If the Daily Telegraph (21 Mar 11) is to be believed (a difficult task at the best of times), Prime Minister Gillard has said that her personal stance against same-sex marriage is due to her conservative upbringing.
Ms Gillard said she was "on the conservative side" of the gay marriage issue "because of the way our society is and how we got here".
"I think that there are some important things from our past that need to continue to be part of our present and part of our future," she said. "[...] marriage being between a man and a woman has a special status.
"Now, I know people might look at me and think that's something that they wouldn't necessarily expect me to say, but that is what I believe.
"I'm on the record as saying things like I think it's important for people to understand their Bible stories, not because I'm an advocate of religion — clearly, I'm not — but once again, what comes from the Bible has formed such an important part of our culture."
Ms Gillard said she had a "pro-union, pro-Labor upbringing in a quite conservative family, in the sense of personal values".
I mention this not to argue the case for or against same-sex marriage, but to express astonishment and dismay at the ludicrous way in which Ms Gillard is making public policy.
Ms Gillard's personal upbringing and her personal conservatism are utterly irrelevant. She might attempt to assess the Australian people's views on the question. She might consider the ethics of the matter, or the public policy aspects. But to base public policy on mere attitudes she acquired as a child is unworthy of her and of the nation she purports to lead.
Although I am a Christian myself, I am aghast at the PM's invocation of the Bible. What relevance do 'Bible stories' have to the formulation of public policy on same-sex marriage? None. Some Christians may attempt an argument against same-sex marriage on 'Biblical' grounds, but they would not rely on childish reference to 'Bible stories'!
I do not criticise Ms Gillard for living with a life-partner to whom she is not formally married. But in doing so, does she not demonstrate that, for her, marriage is not important?
Why then does she make public policy about something that is not important to her personally on the basis of ill-informed assumptions about a religion in which she does not believe?