Aussie Activists Pleased Howard Lost

Australian gay activists expressed satisfaction with the Nov. 24 election defeat of anti-gay longtime Liberal Prime Minister John Howard.

In 2004, Howard successfully pushed for a national ban on same-sex marriage. In 2006, he squashed a civil union law passed by the Australian Capital Territory, a jurisdiction similar to Washington, D.C.

Howard lost his PM job and his longtime seat in Parliament. He was replaced by Kevin Rudd of the Labor Party, which has pledged to end financial and legal discrimination against same-sex couples by modifying 58 federal statutes.

Activists said they will hold Rudd's feet to the fire on that promise and other gay-friendly Labor pledges, including the party's stated support for the ACT civil union law.

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