Julia Gillard has said she was “wrong” not to support gay marriage when she was prime minister, but failed to reveal a telling reason for her decision at the time.
She told the ABC she regretted that it was Malcolm Turnbull rather than her who had been at the forefront of changing the definition of marriage.
In her defence, she insisted that she had voted ‘yes’ to gay marriage when the plebiscite was held on the issue.
But while Gillard used the media opportunity express her regret, she failed to mention the influence of a powerful union in her decision at the time.
Gillard said that while she had voted against gay marriage as prime minister, she had always been a personal supporter.
She said she had wanted a broader conversation on the idea of marriage as a whole, and the need for alternative, non-religious ways to legitimise relationships.
She told David Wenham on the ABC that her decision to oppose gay marriage as prime minister was a “political one”.
"I got that wrong, you know, got it incredibly wrong and very happy to say that.”
But the interview didn't touch upon the potential connection between Gillard's stance against same-sex marriage and her endorsement from the influential, traditionally-minded union, the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees' Association (SDA).
Gillard has on prior occasions refuted any assertions that her stand was a means to maintain the backing from the 'Shoppies' union during her reign. Yet, reports from the Sydney Morning Herald cite prominent Labor insiders as being 'absolutely certain' that this was the key factor.