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Gay sister of Australian opposition leader says he has ‘huge heart’

Gay sister of Australian opposition leader says he has ‘huge heart’

The lesbian sister of the anti-gay-marriage Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott has said in an interview that he has a ‘huge heart’ and ‘he listens to people’.

Despite mass public rallies in support of gay marriage in Australia, Liberal leader Abbott has stood firm in opposition to allowing same-sex couples to marry.

And his refusal to allow Liberal and National MPs a conscience on same-sex marriage means bills in parliament legalising same-sex marriage probably won’t get passed.

Christine Forster made the comments about her brother in an interview with SX magazine. When asked about the difference of opinion between herself and Abbott about gay marriage, she suggested that he could still be persuaded into supporting it.

‘I would say just keep doing what you’re doing because Tony listens to people,’ Forster said. ‘He has a huge heart. He is also a man of great conviction, but he listens to people. He is a very empathetic and compassionate man. I would say to him and to you and to anyone else who wants to affect a change – keep on going at it.’

Forster, who is standing for election as the second Liberal candidate in the Sydney mayoral election on 8 September, was brought into the limelight in April when she was outed as the sister of far from gay-friendly opposition leader.

While Abbott said he admired his sister for her ‘courage and authenticity’ he said that he and his party would stick by their opposition to gay marriage.

Forster also said in the interview that being gay shouldn’t stop anyone from supporting the Liberal party.

‘As a gay person, you join a political party because you agree with the beliefs of the party,’ she said. ‘The fundamental beliefs of the Liberal Party are respect and freedom for individuals, free enterprise and giving people the ability to make decisions about their own lives to better themselves and their families.’