All families have their own disagreements and conflicts, but it’s difficult to imagine how the Abbott family manages to have civilised get-togethers and remain functional as their disagreement plays out on a huge, national scale.
Of course, the tension must be palpable as former Prime Minister Tony Abbott actively campaigns against same-sex marriage, regularly making headlines for his strong views, while his youngest daughter actively campaigns for the ‘yes’ campaign.
And at the centre of their opposing views is Abbott’s sister, Christine Forster, who is in a lesbian relationship, clearly at odds with her strict Catholic brother’s views.
And now, Forster has spoken out, slamming Australia’s response to Abbott’s claims he was assaulted by a same-sex marriage supporter, while news that another former PM, Kevin Rudd’s godson was assaulted for standing up for marriage equality was swept under the carpet.
Writing for The Daily Telegraph’s RendezView, Forster began by pointing out that, contrary to popular opinion, the law which states that marriage is between a man and a woman has only been around for 13 years since John Howard changed it.
“The country has come to crunch time in a 13-year journey which began when parliament under John Howard changed the law, without consulting the people, to specify marriage could only be between a man and a woman,” Forster wrote.
She concedes that “there has been some very bad behaviour at the extremes on both sides of the discussion,” but that “it’s the response of the respective campaigns to such incidents that is telling.”
Discussing the outrage that the ‘no’ side has reacted with when her brother was assaulted, and when text messages were sent by the ‘yes’ campaign, Forster said that the ‘no’ campaign seeks to play on our fears and uncertainties.
“The No side jumped with zeal on the story of Tony being assaulted by a man wearing a Yes badge in Hobart,” she said.
“The report about Kevin Rudd’s godson Sean being punched by a No voter in Brisbane has sunk without a trace.”
It must be difficult, but Forster ended her column with a plea for Australia to vote in favour of her loving relationship.
“If you think we should all be equal before the law, vote yes. If you believe marriage is about people not politics, vote yes. If you want to see every Australian family get the same fair go, vote yes.
“But whatever you do, vote. Please post your Yes.”