Olympic legend Ian Thorpe condemns Australian government over same-sex marriage
Olympic legend Ian Thorpe has criticised the Australian government for its stance over same-sex marriage.
The multi-gold medal winning swimmer, who came out as gay in 2014, says it’s time the measure was introduced.
He has called on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to hurry up and approve the measure.
Appearing on the Morning Show with his partner Ryan Channing, Thorpe said he was disappointed by government plans to push ahead with a plebiscite on same sex marriage.
“We don’t have the right to get married which is quite apparent at this stage…
“I find what’s going on in this marriage equality debate – it is disappointing,” he told the show.
Australia could have same-sex marriage legalised by December however it is going to cost $120 million when it could be free.
The leading governmental party, the Liberal Party, held a crisis meeting yesterday and voted on a bill that would have allowed politicians to vote on same-sex marriage in Parliament for free.
Thorpe continued: “The plebiscite, the postal plebiscite or whatever it is is just a stalling tactic that the government will use because they don’t want to to their job on this,” he said.
“It will have to come to a vote in the parliament and we are waiting for that to happen.”
The champion swimmer recently opened up about why he spent so many years in the closet.
The Australian five-time Olympic gold medallist faced rumours about his sexuality for years, but always aggressively denied being gay.
He came out in 2014, explaining in a TV interview: “I’ve wanted to [come out] for some time… I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man.”
Speaking on ABC show Anh’s Brush With Fame, he confessed: “I wish I had come out earlier.”
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He said: “You know I was [first] accused of being gay when… I think I was 16 at the time.
“But because it was kind of like I was being accused of it, I’d always thought of it, as that being a bad thing.”
Thorpe was in the closet not only to the general public, but to many of his closest friends and family members.
He opened up to them just weeks before coming out publicly in 2014.
The Olympian explained: “It was really hard for me to tell my closest friends and family. And I mentioned to them, ‘do you know, I’m thinking of coming out on TV, just so it’s done’.
“People were like, ‘maybe you should just get used to it first’. I was like, ‘no. I will… no I’m going to do it’. I was able to be the kind of person who I am. And you know, that’s really a kind of powerful thing to have.”
“It’s weird, because [gay people] even have to think about, you know, do we hold hands or not? And we should be holding hands.”