The Prime Minister of Australia earlier this week perhaps regretted his decision to talk to a group of high school students in the grounds of Parliament House.
After agreeing to a Q&A session, Abbott was asked tough questions by the Year 9 students of Newtown High School of the Performing Arts.
The encounter was filmed and uploaded to YouTube by one of the students in the group.
One girl asked: “Why are you so against legalising gay marriage?” after which the crowd loudly cheered.
Abbott replied: “Well look, I’m not against people having a wonderful relationship, I’m all in favour of people having loving, permanent relationships, but I guess it’s a definitional thing.”
At which point another student interjected: “I have a lot of gay friends, and it’s sad to think that they can’t get married because they’re attracted to the same sex,” after which the crowd cheered again.
“I’m getting a clear message, alright… let’s have a bloke’s question,” Abbott said, moving the Q&A on away from those questions.
Abbott remains an opponent of same-sex marriage, but polls have found up to 65% of Australians support it, with just 28% opposed.
Mr Abbott’s sister proposed to her lesbian partner last October, though Mr Abbott said that he “could never support the marriage”.