Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard is seeking legal advice after she was quoted in a controversial full-page anti-gay marriage advert which ran earlier this week.
She believes her words, originally spoken in the National Apology for Forced Adoption in March 2013, have been “taken out of context and misused”.
In a statement, the former Labor leader branded the “It’s. Not. Marriage.” campaign by the Australian Marriage Forum, which featured in The Australian on Monday, as “hurtful” and “offensive”.
“Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was unaware of and had no notice regarding the publication of this advertisement,” a spokesman said.
“Ms Gillard believes it is wrong for her words of apology to victims of forced adoption to be taken out of context and misused.
“As well as being hurtful to those who are the subject of the apology, who have already suffered so much, Ms Gillard believes the advertisement is offensive to gay couples, who are parents.
“Ms Gillard has sought legal advice about this matter.”
The action comes after the Government yesterday looked to have successfully deflected the issue of same sex marriage from a Parliamentary issue to a public vote.
Ms Gillard is one of several leading figures who were quoted in the advert, which focuses on the perceived impact gay marriage could have on children.
Her comments were placed in a section headed “Is it ‘loving’ to destroy the primal love between mother and baby?”
Dr David van Gend, president of the Australian Marriage Forum, said Ms Gillard’s comments were made in the public forum of Parliament, and were “owned by the nation”.
He said: “Her words were not taken out of context. For her to threaten a community group, it is disgraceful given she is a public figure of her stature.
“Every quote we ran was from the public domain and was part of the necessary discussion of this momentous question. All of it is correct and in good faith.
“We will not be bullied into silence by public figures like Ms Gillard.”
The stoush between the two parties was ignited in April when Gillard issued a legal letter to the Forum after the same quotes were used as part of a television commercial.