The Prime Minister made the comments while defending her opposition to gay marriage.

Gillard, famously not married to her longterm partner Tim Mathieson, said: “I think you can have a relationship of love and commitment and trust and understanding that doesn’t need a marriage certificate associated with it, 

“That’s my life experience – so I’m speaking from that life experience.”

Ms Gillard was asked during the Q and A programme to explain why a coutry that prided itself on freedom, equality and tolerance could persist with its negative attitude to gay marriage.

Her questioner, Geoff Thomas, a Vietnam veteran, whose son is gay, had previously asked Tony Abbott when he would ‘overcome his ignorance’ and come out in favour of equal rights for gays.

Thomas said Gillard had aligned herself with Abbot and the Australian Christian Lobby.

Others on social media were quick to say that Gillard was obfuscating her responsibility, and that ‘creating separate cultures for straight people and homosexuals was demonstrably devise’ and would foster resentment.

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