Australia "left standing alone" on gay marriage ban
Marriage equality advocates say Australia is falling behind, after New Zealand's Conservative Prime Minister John Key announced he has no personal opposition to gay marriage.
The statement comes in the wake of US President Barack Obama speaking out in favour of same-sex marriage.
Key (pictured) also said he expects the New Zealand parliament may well consider the issue.
New Zealand Labour leader David Shearer has affirmed that he fully supports gay marriage "in principle".
The New Zealand Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said she is happy with the stand President Obama has taken particularly considering the current moral views in the Unites States.
“The US is very morally conservative on issues like sexual reproductive health, gay and lesbian rights and it is about time that the President took a strong stand in favour of the community and their right to be treated equally,” she said.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Rodney Croome said Australia has been left standing alone among developed English-speaking democracies.
"Australia's national leaders are completely out-of-step with their counterparts in every other developed, English-speaking democracy - Canada, the UK, the US and now even New Zealand," Croome said.
"Like many other Australians I am bewildered and ashamed that our country is being isolated from those nations with which we share most by two out-of-touch opponents of fundamental human rights."
"My hope is that Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott's increased isolation will compel them to reconsider their hard line," he said.
Britain's Tory Prime minister David Cameron has already spoken in support of same-sex marriage, as has the new French President Francois Hollande.
By contrast to Obama's support for marriage equality, accusations have surfaced in the US that Republican front-runner Mitt Romney was a homophobic bully at school.
Former high school companions of Romney allege he once held a fellow student down and cut off the long fringe of his bleach-blond hair. The student in question John Lauber had previously been teased about his sexuality.
In another allegation, Romney is said to have taunted a different closeted gay student by crowing "Atta girl!" every time the boy tried to speak in class.
Romney has told the press he had no recollection of either of these events, although he admitted he had done some "dumb things" in high school.