The sister of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced she has proposed to her partner of six years, Virginia Edwards, and expects Abbott to attend the wedding even though he is standing in the way of same-sex marriage being legalized in Australia.
‘We got engaged when we were away with friends on a trip to Broken Hill,’ Christine Forster told Sydney journalist Peter Hackney, writing for New Idea magazine.
‘There wasn’t a candlelit dinner or anything like that. We were in our hotel room … but in a very traditional way, I proposed and Virginia accepted.’
The couple told Hackney that they planned to hold their wedding at Café Sydney overlooking Sydney Harbor and that they intended to have drag queens at the wedding instead of bridesmaids.
‘It will be close friends and family. Tony and [wife] Margie will definitely be there,’ Forster said.
However Forster did not expect her brother to support she and Edwards’ right to marry legally anytime soon.
‘Tony’s been very clear that he defines marriage in a traditional sense – between a man and a woman,’ Forster said.
‘I do believe marriage equality is inevitable – and as soon as we get it, we’re getting married.’
Despite having the option of marrying in neighboring New Zealand, the couple have not set a date for their wedding as they want to do it legally in Australia.
‘We want to be married legally here, in Sydney, with our friends and family,’ Edwards said.
‘We respect friends who’ve gone overseas to get married, but it’s important for us to do it here.’
Forster said her discussions with her brother about why same-sex couples wanted to marry reflected similar conversations that were going on inside families all over Australia.
‘This is a discussion that begins with family and friends,’ Forster said.
‘It starts with one-on-one conversations at the table or over the back fence, and is moving from there into the community and now parliaments.’
‘Because it’s not just us – just about every Australian family is touched by this issue.’
The Australian Capital Territory, which houses the Australian Parliament from which Abbott governs, is expected to legalize same-sex marriage as soon as tomorrow.