Gay rights advocates have applauded declarations of support for same-sex marriage by Tony Abbott’s daughters, saying they hope the remarks will help the Opposition Leader’s views ”evolve”.
Mr Abbott’s daughters Frances and Bridget said in a weekend interview they strongly supported the rights of same-sex couples to get married – unlike their father.
Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said Mr Abbott’s daughters were ”typical of their generation”. Their support showed same-sex marriage was inevitable – though he stressed gay and lesbian couples should not have to wait a generation.
”Children are educating their parents and I’m hopeful that Frances and Bridget can have an influence on their dad … [and] this influence will see Tony Abbott evolve on the issue,” he said. ”If he feels he can’t go so far as to support it, at the very least, he needs to give Liberal MPs a conscience vote.”
Frances Abbott, 21, told the weekend’s Daily Telegraph she had discussed her support for gay marriage with her father.
”I believe it is inevitable,” she said. ”I believe by the time our generation gets into power, I hope and pray something is done about marriage equality and gay rights.”
Bridget, 20, added: ”I just think being gay is a lot more accepted and open for our generation.”
Melbourne lord mayor and former Victorian Liberal leader Robert Doyle has urged state and federal governments to legalise gay marriage. Prominent federal Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer also stated her public support recently.
Mr Croome said the next step towards gay marriage would happen on the state level, with legislation being considered or proposed in most states and territories.
Mr Croome predicted same-sex couples would be marrying in one state or another by the end of the year and ”when that happens, it will change this debate forever”.
”The question for Tony Abbott and [Prime Minister] Julia Gillard is, do they want to be remembered as having stood in the way?” he said.
Ms Gillard also opposes gay marriage.
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