Tony Abbott was forced to swallow his pride and congratulate his lesbian sister Christine Forster after Australia voted ‘Yes’ for gay marriage.
The former prime minister, a campaigner against same-sex marriage, phoned Ms Forster as she revealed she had already made plans for a summer wedding with her long-term partner Virginia Edwards.
‘It wasn’t long after the result, maybe 30 minutes, It was a good conversation,’ Ms Forster told news.com.au.
‘We’ve spoke and he congratulated me and he was very magnanimous. He acknowledged that this has been a great result for the Yes team.
‘Tony and I have a great relationship as brother and sister that transcends our political differences.’
Tony Abbott was forced to swallow his pride and congratulate his lesbian sister Christine Forster after Australia voted ‘Yes’ for gay marriage
Ms Forster (left) revealed she already had plans for a summer wedding with long-term partner Virginia Edwards (right)
Ms Forster said she had a relationship with her brother Mr Abbott that ‘transcends our political differences’
Ms Forster, who has been engaged to Virginia Edwards for four years, joined thousands of gay marriage supporters in Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park on Wednesday to celebrate victory in the national postal survey.
She said it would mean ‘everything’ to get married on Australian soil and Ms Edwards said their plans were well underway.
‘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.
More than 60 per cent of Australians voted in favour of changing the Marriage Act, a result equality campaigners have described as ‘resounding’.
Ms Forster, a Sydney councillor, said legalising gay marriage would change Australia for their children’s generation.
‘Assuming this legislation gets passed quickly, as it should, kids of that age can know they have the same opportunities, the same future, the same rights, the same equality under the law that everybody else does,’ Ms Forster said.
Ms Forster passionately embraced her long-term partner while draped in a rainbow flag
Ms Forster, who has been engaged to Virginia Edwards for four years, joined thousands of gay marriage supporters in Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park on Wednesday
Mr Abbott is a prominent opponent of same-sex marriage and framed the ‘no’ campaign as a vote on freedom of speech and religion.
In his NSW electorate of Warringah, 75 per cent of participants returned a ‘yes’ vote and Ms Forster said her brother had always said he’d respect the voice of the people.
‘He’s of the same view that I’m of, which is we now need to get on with it, get the legislation passed, put in place whatever protections need to be put in place, but get on with it and do it.’
Ms Edwards said she was happy to have her relationship thrust into the national spotlight.
‘I feel privileged that I’ve been given a voice,’ she said.
‘A lot of people would like to have that opportunity to make a change and say something that might influence another individual.’
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wanted federal parliament to pass same-sex marriage laws before Christmas, following what he said was the public’s ‘unequivocal’ approval.
Ms Forster, a Sydney councillor, said legalising gay marriage would change Australia for their children’s generation