Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has come out and declared his support for same sex marriage.

It’s a reversal which puts him at odds with Prime Minister Julia Gillard , but Mr Rudd has defended his change of heart on the issue.

Katrina Mawer reports.


Kevin Rudd strongly believes its “time for some civility” in the national debate over same-sex marriage.

He says friends and family helped change his views on same-sex marriage.

He’s even posted his reasons for the about face on his website.

Kevin Rudd, Member for Griffith: “I think we are all shaped by the views of those immediately around us and by our wider network of friends but also I’ve done a fair bit of reading.”

He rebuffed critics saying his decision was not an attempt to overshadow Julia Gillard’s campaign to sell the Gonski reforms.

Kevin Rudd, Member for Griffith: “We have a vote in the House of Representatives in two to three weeks time. For me to have said anything prior to the budget would be wrong, because it would have taken focus off the budget.”

And while the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott acknowledges Kevin Rudd’s opinion, he hasn’t changed his stance.

Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “I respect Kevin Rudd, I accept that he’s entitled to change his mind.”

Kevin Rudd urged Tony Abbott to give Coalition MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “I certainly haven’t changed my mind. This is a matter that was dealt with by the current parliament.”

Katrina Mawer QUT News.