US pop star Katy Perry has told Australia’s opposition leader Tony Abbott that she wouldn’t vote for him because of his opposition to equal marriage.
In a telephone interview from the US on Sydney’s 2DayFM radio station, the Hot N Cold singer urged Australian voters to shun him at the ballot box.
Mr Abbott’s three daughters, aged 20 to 24, are fans of the singer and he phoned during her interview to say: “When are you coming back? We need you, we want you”.
“Oh come on, that’s not a political question. Let’s talk about gay marriage,” she told him.
“I love you as a human being but I can’t give you my vote,” Perry said, adding: “I just don’t believe in your policies so that’s what a lot of people should be doing.”
Despite having an openly gay sister, Mr Abbott is opposed to same-sex marriages, in contrast to election rival Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who has vowed to introduce a bill legalising the unions if returned to office.
Questioned later by reporters about Perry, Mr Abbott, seen as favourite to win the election, said they “respectfully disagreed”, although they did agree to meet for lunch when Perry heads to Australia next year.
“I respectfully disagree with a number of people, including my own sister, on this subject, but no doubt we’ll all continue to say our piece,” he said, adding of his chat with the singer: “My daughters for once were envious of their dad.”
Earlier this week, appearing on the same radio station, Mr Abbott was questioned about his position on same-sex marriage. He said that he supported the traditional definition of marriage, adding: “I respect the views of people who disagree with me but I respectfully disagree with them.”
The Liberal Party leader added: “My idea is to build on the strength of our society and I support, by and large, evolutionary change. I’m not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion of the moment.”
Prior to the interview Mr Abbott had described a young female Liberal candidate and her predecessor as having sex appeal.
Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd condemned Mr Abbott over his remarks yesterday, saying: “My policy’s pretty simple, that in modern Australia, neither sexism nor racism nor homophobia has any place whatsoever.”