“I will not try to stop this from going through parliament,” Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott told host Ben Fordham on Sydney radio 2GB, the day of the same-sex marriage postal survey announcement. “I am not going to rain on their parade, no way.”
Tony Abbott, when Prime Minister of Australia took the idea of a nationwide plebiscite to the Australian people, it was changed to a postal plebiscite after he was dumped by his party and replaced with current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
During the long nine-week campaign for marriage equality, As a ‘No’ vote supporter, Abbott went on the record with the following statements against same-sex marriage:
“If you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote no. If you’re worried about religious freedom, and freedom of speech, vote no. If you don’t like political correctness, vote no – because voting no will help to stop political correctness in its tracks.”
This comment was the beginning of the ‘mudding of the waters’ tactic from the ‘No’ campaign that turned what should have been a simple yes or no vote, to a debate about safe schools and religious freedoms plus conscientious objectors rights to legally discriminate against same-sex couples wanting to marry.
Other well-documented comments from Abbott against same-sex marriage and the ‘Yes’ vote campaign include:
“[The Yes Campaign is] a war on our way of life”.
“[The push for same-sex marriage is] just the latest stage in the long, slow erosion of more fundamental beliefs”
Yesterday, Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah voted 75% in support of changing the marriage act, during the radio interview Abbott conceded that his vote in parliament did not have to reflect the people of whom he represents, further stating however that he “will respect the process” and vote in favour of same-sex marriage as “there is no point having a plebiscite if you don’t respect the result”. Later saying that he will only support the bill if: “We get it with stronger protections for freedom of religion and conscientious (objectors) than currently exists”.
Abbott’s openly gay sister, Christine Forster a strong ‘Yes’ vote campaigner, announced a Sydney wedding for February to her long-term partner Virginia Edwards after the ‘Yes’ vote result.
“We’ve booked a date, we’ve booked our venue, we’ve got our rings, we’ve got our beautiful designer and we’re doing it on the 2nd of Feb,” Ms Edwards told AAP.
Speaking with DNA, Forster said that her brother will be invited to the wedding.