Daughter of anti-gay leader Tony Abbott supports equal marriage
Australia’s former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing more opposition from his own family over his anti-gay marriage stance.
As Australia holds a public vote on same-sex marriage, right-wing former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has become a prominent voice against equality.
Mr Abbott has aggressively fought an aggressive campaign against same-sex marriage despite the fact that his own sister Christine Forster is gay, and waiting for the right to marry her same-sex partner.
Abbott stunned the country last month when he appeared to suggest it would be “best” for Ms Forster’s children to be raised by a straight couple.
The family feud heightened this week, when it emerged that Mr Abbott’s daughter Frances is backing up her gay aunt over her own father.
Frances Abbott posted a photo to Instagram of herself wearing a ‘Yes please’ t-shirt, as the country votes on same-sex marriage.
Ms Abbott, 22, wrote: “YES PLEASE ♥️♥️♥️
“I don’t really care much for politics. But I do really care a lot for love.
“All love is good. Let’s celebrate it.”
Her aunt Christine Forster has six children with fiancée Virginia.
Former PM Tony Abbott has waged a campaign against same-sex marriage, claiming the stance “protect women and children”.
Speaking in a recent radio interview, Mr Abbott said of his opposition to same-sex marriage: “My position on this is not driven by religion, it’s driven by the fact that marriage is what produces families, families are what produces communities and societies and nations.
“I want to strengthen the family, I want to support the traditional families because it’s better for kids, if possible, to have a mother and a father.
“As everyone knows, my distinguished and much-loved sister Chris is on the other side of this argument. Chris has been a very good mother with her partner Virginia, they do a good job, but nevertheless I’m old fashioned enough to think kids do best with a mother and a father.”
He added: “Certainly, we all need male and female role models in our lives and normally the best male and female role models in our lives are our mother and a father.”
The former leader dodged a question when asked if his relationship with his sister had broken down, after she accused him of “avoiding her calls”.
Mr Abbott said: “Chris has made it very clear that as a family we can all get on even though we don’t always agree on everything.”
However, Mr Abbott spurned his sister’s offer of a one-to-one debate on the issue.
He said: “There’s nothing exhibitionistic about the Abbott family. We are not show-offs, we do not parade ourselves or make a public spectacle of ourselves.
“I just think the last thing you want is a family squabble in public. I’m voting no [to a debate].”
Mr Abbott recently stirred controversy when he visited US-based extremist lobbying group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) – despite the group allegedly pressuring countries around the world to keep sodomy laws banning gay sex.
The ex-PM pushed ahead with his plans to speak to the group, which has also opposed LGBT people in the military, same-sex adoption and equal marriage.