Australian opposition leader still opposes gay marriage

Tony Abbott hails his lesbian sister’s bravery, but vows to honor his election promise that marriage should only be between a ‘man and a woman’

Australian opposition leader still opposes gay marriage
08 April 2012

Australia’s Coalition leader and head of the Opposition has lauded his sister for bravery in coming out, but remains staunchly opposed to gay marriage.

Tony Abbott said it was brave of his 47-year-old sister Christine Forster to confirm her relationship with Virginia Edwards. However, this would not affect Coalition’s marriage policy.

‘We've had a lot of interesting discussions and we'll keep those discussions going, but fundamentally I want to be a politician that keeps my commitments,’ Abbott told The Sunday Telegraph.

‘We went into the election with a position and as far as I'm concerned, that's the position we will keep.’

Previously married with four children, Forster drew media speculation and then publicly came out after being photographed to support gay marriage at a concert with Edwards last year.

Abbott is reported to have known his sister’s sexuality four years ago. She came out to the public after extensive consultations with the family.

While ‘spirited’ discussions at family gatherings did not change Abbott’s mindset, he said he admired the way his sister had handled the situation.

‘She has had some very difficult and complex issues to deal with and I really admire the way she's handled it,’ he said. ‘I think she's handled it with courage and authenticity.’

Gay marriage advocates praise Abbott’s showing of respect and love to his sister and remains hopeful his stance would soften.

Of influential Opposition players, New South Wales leader John Robertson and communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull, among others, have called for a conscience vote on gay marriage.

‘I think family circumstances are a personal issue,’ said Robertson, who has a gay son and supports same-sex marriage.

A poll late last year showed that 76% of supporters of the Coalition backed a free vote.



No thumbnail available

Staunch LGBT ally Cory Booker wins US Senate seat in special election

Newark New Jersey mayor will have to run again next year to retain his seat
No thumbnail available

Tea Party Unity founder calls for class action lawsuit to be filed against gayness

Rick Scarborough: 'Homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer'
No thumbnail available

Fabrice Houdart: ‘Coming out relieved me of the shame I had felt for so many years’

Now working for World Bank as a Senior Country Officer for Maghreb, Houdart reflects on coming out at work and the journey that business has undertaken in respect to LGBTI workplace equality
One Direction star Liam Payne reveals drag queen alter-ego

One Direction star Liam Payne reveals drag queen alter-ego

British boy band member had no hesitation when he was asked what his name would be if he was a cross-dressing performer
No thumbnail available

Lady Gaga goes Over The Rainbow for Oz-style ‘Applause’ performance

Mother monster wakes up America with a Gaga version of Dorothy’s trip down the yellow brick road
No thumbnail available

Benefit for Australian pastor sacked for supporting gay marriage

Australian Marriage Equality stage benefit for pro-gay-marriage Baptist minister
No thumbnail available

Meet the 7 openly LGBTI athletes braving Sochi

Only .0028% of all the athletes competing at the Sochi Winter Games are openly LGBTI
No thumbnail available

Queer rapper Mykki Blanco: ‘A straight man’s respect doesn’t mean shit to me’

‘A large part of my fan base is gay and those are my people’ says the US rapper and performance artist about who his music is for
No thumbnail available

Empire creator Lee Daniels wants to 'blow lid off homophobia' in black America

Openly gay director says men on the DL are 'killing African-American women'
No thumbnail available

Serbian authorities ban Belgrade Pride again

The Serbian capital’s annual gay pride parade has been banned ‘for security concerns’ for the second time in two years after anti-gay groups threatened another riot