Video: Australian PM Tony Abbott tongue tied over gay marriage questions from high school students

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Prime Minister of Australia earlier this week perhaps regretted his decision to talk to a group of high school students in the grounds of Parliament House.

After agreeing to a Q&A session, Abbott was asked tough questions by the Year 9 students of Newtown High School of the Performing Arts.

The encounter was filmed and uploaded to YouTube by one of the students in the group.

One girl asked: “Why are you so against legalising gay marriage?” after which the crowd loudly cheered.

Abbott replied: “Well look, I’m not against people having a wonderful relationship, I’m all in favour of people having loving, permanent relationships, but I guess it’s a definitional thing.”

At which point another student interjected: “I have a lot of gay friends, and it’s sad to think that they can’t get married because they’re attracted to the same sex,” after which the crowd cheered again.

“I’m getting a clear message, alright… let’s have a bloke’s question,” Abbott said, moving the Q&A on away from those questions.

Not the first time Abbott has taken a grilling from a younger audience, a 4-year-old girl in January wrote a letter, asking him to “let boys marry boys and girls marry girls.”

Same-sex marriage was briefly legalised in Australian Capital Territory last year, but Australia’s high court overturned the decision just five days later.

Abbott remains an opponent of same-sex marriage, but polls have found up to 65% of Australians support it, with just 28% opposed.

Mr Abbott’s sister proposed to her lesbian partner last October, though Mr Abbott said that he “could never support the marriage”.