Australia: Anti-equal marriage PM would attend lesbian sister’s wedding

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Australian Prime Minister Toby Abbott would attend his lesbian sister’s wedding, despite being against same-sex marriage.

His sister, Christine Forster, has spoken about the support Mr Abbott has given her and her partner, Virginia Edwards, despite his public opposition to same-sex marriage. She said he told her would attend their wedding if it was made legal in Australia.

She said on The Feed: “Tony was, out of all of my immediate family members, the most supportive – people raise their eyebrows when I say this but it is the honest truth. Outwardly and from the love he has shown me – he certainly hasn’t made me feel as if I’m not welcome and I’m not loved.”

But she also said she was disappointed by his stance on same-sex marriage: “I think he’s wrong but he’s entitled to his view and it would be great if he turned around tomorrow and said “I’ve had a change of heart”.

“He’s not saying that he doesn’t see my relationship with Virginia as valid. He’s just saying that he doesn’t believe that we should come under this umbrella of the institution of marriage because as he sees marriage…. he sees it as that it has to be between a man and a woman.

“He may not want it to be legalised but if it were he has told us he would be at our marriage. Page boy Tony – I don’t know – maybe we will see him in a little blue velvet cap, we’ll wait and see.”

She spoke about coming out later in life. Both she and her partner were married to men, with children, when they met. “I grew up in an environment where there was never any opportunity from me to pursue a same sex relationship – it wasn’t something that was ever even considered remotely. But as soon as I met Virginia I knew she was somebody I was attracted to.

“We were both married and that meant we had to make very difficult decisions about our relationships of course with our ex-husbands and also about what that meant for our children – it’s indescribably difficult.”

Her partner, Ms Edwards said: “I was terrified I couldn’t imagine how I was going to manage the outfall of emotion that was going to come with this decision and the hurt.

“But I knew the love that I had for Christine was something that I couldn’t live without”

In September, Mr Abbott replied to a letter from an 8-year old girl, in which he said his sister’s partner was “a loved member of our family” but that he still disagreed with equal marriage. Earlier this month, he narrowly saw off a leadership challenge.