Newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that Canberra some time next year will be the scene of the first gay union in Australia. The ACT Civil Partnership Bill which allows for formal ceremonies in which same-sex couples make a legal pledge to each other before an official is likely to be passed by the Assembly early next year. A spokesperson for the Gay lobby said, “It certainly is a landmark not only for the ACT but for the entire nation.” He assumed other states in Australia would shortly feel comfortable in allowing such same sex unions. However, some conservative groups expressed anger at the Rudd decision to support gay rights. The Reverend Fred Nile said this action cements Canberra’s reputation as a “place of vice” and called for a national tourist boycott under the slogan, “Nobody Have A Holiday In Canberra.” Reverend Nile commented, “I think it’s shocking, we should be proud of our capital. It should be a place of virtue, not of vice.”
Decency and vice certainly reside in the eye of the beholder. One can only wonder if tourists to Canberra will be walking the streets searching to discover if they could see two men or two women holding hands or if they actually went to the capital for good time. Men like the good reverend Nile make a great deal of noise concerning vice and decency, and we can assume he leads a virtuous life at all times. Unfortunately, here in America we simply have too many recent cases of preachers of virtue who turn out to inhabit the dens of iniquity not only with women, but with those of the same male sex.