Godson of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ‘punched for standing up for Marriage Equality’
The godson of a former Australian prime minister was injured in an alleged homophobic attack.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd tweeted a photo of his 19-year-old godson Sean, who he claimed had been “punched for standing up for #MarriageEquality”.
Rudd also wrote that prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had been given “so many warnings..about what the postal vote could unleash”.
According to ABC, police in Brisbane recorded the incident as taking place at 9am on the Oxford Street roundabout in the suburb of Bulimba, in which a teenage boy was assaulted by an older male.
On Friday Queensland Police charged a 48-year-old man for punching Sean at a bus stop near to the roundabout.
The roundabout area has been occupied by local campaigners for marriage equality, who have held several events to promote a ‘Yes’ vote in the country’s postal ballot on same-sex marriage.
One post put up on the ‘Bulimba 4 Marriage Equality‘ Facebook, stated that Sean was attacked when he stood up to a homophobic male who had been harassing the campaigners.
They claimed the man had been shouting ‘f***ing faggots’ and when he was confronted by Sean, the man punched him in the head.
Speaking to ABC, the co-founder of the Bulimba group Sinead Cunningham said the flags they had put up on the ‘rainbow roundabout’ had been pulled down.
She felt “horrible” about what had happened to Sean.
Cunningham described the assailant as a 6’2 caucasian male.
“He was essentially assaulted because the man during his rampage around the roundabout has made eye contact with Sean who was just sitting, minding his own business, waiting for his bus to go into work.
“He [the man] went up to Sean and punched him, split his head.”
She added that Sean has been extremely modest about his actions.
“The only contact I’ve had with Sean, he basically said ‘I’m not a hero, my actions are probably idiotic. I don’t want the attention, I don’t think I’m a hero’”
She said the responses the group get at the rainbow roundabouts are mostly positive, but there are always negative comments from passersby and drivers.
Members of the opposition Labor Party which was previously led by Rudd, have warned about the possibility of attacks because of the national debate on same-sex marriage.
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Australians have until 7 November to return a non binding survey by the country’s Bureau of National Statistics, asking them if the law should be changed to allow same-sex marriage.
The vote is not a formal referendum, which had been blocked by conservative politicians.
A ‘Yes vote’ in this ballot will lead to a free vote in the Australian parliament on the issue.
“I don’t think anyone in the LGBTI community actually wanted it this way…it was allowing a platform for absolute hatred. It’s disgusting.”
In the meantime, a fifth ‘Rainbow roundabout’ has been organised, with the subtitle ‘Let’s do it for Sean!‘, in solidarity with Rudd’s god son.