Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticised by his lesbian sister for refusing to put same-sex marriage to a referendum.
Tony Abbott has been criticised by his own sister, Christine Forster, for refusing to call for a referendum on same-sex marriage, following Ireland’s historic Yes vote.
Christine Forster, a Liberal Sydney City Councillor and supporter of gay marriage, hailed the Irish Referendum result as “fantastic”.
She told Sky News: “I’d like something more from the current prime minister, who happens to be my brother.”
Still waiting to get married #MardiGras2015 #mardigraspassion pic.twitter.com/tJdOokCBsr
— Christine Forster (@resourcefultype) February 22, 2015
“I absolutely will be lobbying my brother, and I hope the party room makes enough noise about this,” saying she hoped her brother would allow MPs a conscience vote on the referendum. “I hope the party room tells him that they very firmly believe it’s a conscience issue, and he will abide by what they tell him.”
Abbott had implied that referendums in Australia are reserved for constitutional changes, saying, “I don’t think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect.”
Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott’s Communications Minister, told ABC radio: “I’m confident the matter will be dealt with in the course of this year and, of course, we obviously need a bill. There is a change in sentiment all the time.”
Other politicians have also called for equal marriage to be considered.
Bill Shorten, the opposition leader who supports gay marriage, also ruled out a referendum but called for parliament to legislate on the matter, calling the prime minister an obstacle to equality.
“If the Irish people can vote in favour of marriage equality, the question has to be asked, what is Tony Abbott’s problem with it?” he told ABC News.
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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