Speaking at a Liberal National Party (LNP) fundraiser in Brisbane, Christine Forster, a Liberal councillor for the City of Sydney, declared her wish for her brother to allow a conscience vote within the Coalition – or at least to open a debate on the issue.
When asked about a recent Roy Morgan poll indicating 79 per cent of the Australian public would be in favour of Abbott allowing a conscience vote on marriage equality, and the increasing number of conservative politicans speaking out in favour of equality, Forster said that it was time for a shift in thinking.
“I firmly believe…that marriage equality is a conscience issue. I think on that basis it should be a conscience vote in the Federal Coalition party,” Forster told the Star Observer.
She also indicated that the issue of marriage equality was no longer cut and dry for her brother, and said that his views on the issue were dynamic.
“Tony said [following last September’s failed Parliamentary vote] that he felt genuinely conflicted because he knows now about our family and what we’ve gone through between me and my relationship,” Forster said.
“To me it was a very significant shift. He was a man that lived his entire life thinking it [marriage] was a no-brainer. All of a sudden he’s thinking about it now and expressing his own thoughts and feelings about this issue. It’s just a signal that there’s space to move.”
“We all grow and mature and decide that maybe the way we feel about something five years ago isn’t the right way.”