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Australian PM Tony Abbott urged to allow his MPs a conscience vote on same-sex marriage... by his gay sister

Published 25/05/2015

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

When Tony Abbott rejected calls for a referendum on same-sex marriage in the wake of Ireland’s historic vote to approve the measure, many were left unimpressed.

Including, it seems, the Australian prime minister’s own gay sister, Christine Forster.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Christine Forster, the sister of politician Tony Abbott and her partner Virginia Edwards arrive at a Ellen DeGeneres Welcome Party on March 26, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Ellen DeGeneres is in Australia to film segments for her TV show, 'Ellen'. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Christine Forster, the sister of politician Tony Abbott and her partner Virginia Edwards arrive at a Ellen DeGeneres Welcome Party on March 26, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Ellen DeGeneres is in Australia to film segments for her TV show, 'Ellen'. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Forster shared her hope that her brother would change his mind and allow MPs a conscience vote on the referendum with Sky News.

“I'd like something more from the current prime minister, who happens to be my brother,” she said.

Abbott had implied that referendums in Australia were reserved only for constitutional changes.

“I don't think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect,” the long-standing opponent of gay marriage said.

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.

Source: Independent

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