In just a matter of weeks, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has gone from encouraging anti-gay lobbyists to continue to campaign against marriage equality after the same-sex postal survey to saying that same-sex marriage will “strengthen our social fabric” of Australia in parliament this week.
The man who said at the start of the nationwide postal survey: “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.”
Now believes that: “The overwhelming support for same-sex marriage that the plebiscite showed is a sign of the warm acceptance that Australians have for gay people.
During the same-sex marriage postal survey Abbott was quoted saying that “[The Yes Campaign is] a war on our way of life”.
In parliament this week: “As the plebiscite abundantly demonstrated, we are as easygoing as any country on Earth, and, whatever your race, your creed, your gender or your sexuality, to be an Australian is well and truly to have won the lottery of life.”
Abbott used this line during his public push for a ‘No’ vote: “[The push for same-sex marriage is] just the latest stage in the long, slow erosion of more fundamental beliefs”
Compared to this weeks statement in parliament: “If indeed same-sex marriage does turn out to mean that there are more stable and more lasting relationships in this country, gay as well as straight, then it will have strengthened our social fabric.”
During the ‘No’ vote campaign of which he was a vocal supporter, Abbott said that of his lesbian sister and her partner their children would fare better being raised by a straight couple.
This week: “I am looking forward to attending the marriage of my sister, Christine, to her partner, Virginia, sometime early in the new year.”
Could this backflip on same-sex marriage have anything to do with a looming federal election and his own seat of Warringah voting 75% in support of legalising same-sex marriage?