15 Nov 2017

Australia now 'a better, fairer, kinder country'

From Checkpoint, 5:10 pm on 15 November 2017

Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster is set to marry her female partner in Australia next year, following the 'yes' result in the country's marriage equality vote.

Australians voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, with results released today showing 61.6 percent of respondents voted 'yes' in a postal survey.

Ms Forster - a Sydney councillor - said the vote showed Australians were saying "loudly and proudly" that they wanted every Australian to have equal rights and be able to marry the person they love and were committed to.

"It's been a real special moment today.

"This is a better, fairer, kinder country than it was yesterday, and that is the reality. We have been waiting for this for a long time"

She said the 'yes' vote was important to her and her fiancé, but more importantly to the younger generations.

"They can now look at this, look at their futures, look at their lives and know they have the same opportunities, they have the same rights, the same future as every other Australian. Kids of that generation and all the generations behind them."

Ms Forster said she and her partner had always intended on getting married in February, but had been planning to get married in British consular because it did not look like the Australian Parliament would move on marriage equality.

She said it was now up to Parliament to respect the country's decision and pass the legislation as soon as possible.

She said her brother - a former Prime Minister - had opposed same sex marriage, but they respected each other and loved each other as siblings.

"He and I have spoken since this result was announced and we're on the same page, that we both want Parliament to pass the legislation to reform the Marriage Act to enable same sex couples to get married in Australia as quickly as possible.

"He said congratulations. And you know what, coming from probably the best political campaigner of his generation in Australia, it feels pretty good to have beaten him on one.”