Howard Opposes Gay Marriages

This is Prime Minister John Howard’s Darwin doorstop interview in which he expressed his opposition to gay marriages.

Howard said that the “survival of the species” is at stake if the “bedrock institution” of marriage is undermined.

  • Listen to Howard (22s)

Transcript of Prime Minister John Howard’s doorstop media conference in Darwin.

JOURNALIST: [inaudible] the issue of gay marriages fairly outspoken this morning. Where did those opinions come from? Why do you reject…?

HOWARD: Well, this is not in any way an attack on gay people, quite the reverse. But it’s just a strong statement in support of the central role of traditional marriage in our society. Traditional marriage is one of the bedrock institutions of our society and I don’t want anything to occur that further weakens it. Marriage, as we understand it in our society, is about children, having children, raising them, providing for the survival of the species and I think if the same status is given in our society to gay unions as are given to traditional marriage we will weaken that bedrock institution, that’s why I’ve expressed the views I have.

JOURNALIST: Mr Howard, there are reports this morning that the Government’s going to phase out the F1-11s earlier than expected. Is that true and will that leave a gap in our defence?

HOWARD: Well, it hasn’t come before me. I think you should pursue it with the Defence Minister. I can just make this…. or give this assurance, we won’t be doing anything that leaves a gap.

JOURNALIST: Is Australia’s national security at risk if American military forces are allowed to use Australian bases?

HOWARD: Well, where has all this come from?

JOURNALIST: Well, there’s reports that the Government may be considering…

HOWARD: Well, we haven’t been approached by the Americans for any basing arrangements, we haven’t. And if we were approached then we would give thought to that and work out whether it was in Australia’s interests. It’s obviously in Australia’s security interest to have a close defence alliance with the United States and that defence alliance makes Australia safer, it doesn’t make Australia more vulnerable and more dangerous.

JOURNALIST: Could you rule out the territory being…?

HOWARD: I don’t rule anything out because there’s nothing to rule in or out. We haven’t been approached, so I’m not going to start running around ruling places in or out. Obviously, if we were asked by the Americans we’d talk to them about it, then we’d take a decision that was in our national interest.

JOURNALIST: You must be happy that many Australians appear to be happy with our intervention in the Solomons, poll …

HOWARD: Well I’m not surprised at that poll. I found as I went around the country that people were saying it was the right decision. Australians know that the Pacific is our patch, that we have responsibilities, that if states fail then that’s bad news for Australia because they become havens for international criminals and money launderers and even perhaps terrorists.

JOURNALIST: Are you happy with the way thing have gone in the Solomons so far?

HOWARD: So far, but I want Australians to understand that it is still a dangerous mission and we must keep our fingers crossed that none of our men or women are in any way affected.

JOURNALIST: Have you heard of talk that Malcolm Turnbull is apparently considering a New South Wales Senate seat?

HOWARD: Well, I read a story in the paper this morning. We have two very good Liberal Senators from New South Wales in Bill Heffernan and John Tierney.

Thank you.

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