Last week, Abbott’s Coalition party rejected a conscience vote on the issue, preventing any chance that Australia might allow marriage equality within his term of government.
His sister Christine Forster, an elected Liberal party Councilor for the City of Sydney, said:
“At a personal level it is disappointing because I am engaged to get married to my partner Virginia and I would like to be able to do that here in Australia and I would like to be able to do that sooner rather than later.
“It’s a discussion about marriage. I don’t believe that it should be something that is a set party policy. I think that Australian’s elect their parliamentarians to represent them. And everything points to, in terms of the polls, points to the fact that that most Australians want to see this change happen.”
A cross-party bill amending the Marriage Act is before parliament. A huge shame it can't be considered as a matter of conscience by all MPs
— Christine Forster (@resourcefultype) August 17, 2015
A Catholic who briefly trained as priest, Tony Abbott has been accused by the opposition Labor party of forcing the country to back his views.
Labor Party leader Bill Shorten said:
“[Abbott] said he believes in a conscience vote. What he didn’t tell Australians is he believes in his own conscience and he will force everyone to agree with his conscience.”
Recent polls suggest a majority support for same-sex marriage in Australia. A June 2015 poll showed that 59% of Australians believe gay couples should be allowed to marry. Last week, a poll suggested that figure has since increased to 69%.