Gay activists in Tasmania have praised the state’s world champion axeman David Foster for supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Foster told the Launceston Examiner his opinion on the issue shifted after his daughter, who is raising a child with her same-sex partner, came out to him four years ago.

“David Foster’s support for allowing same-sex couples to marry is a reminder that this issue is not about political, religious or moral disputes, but about the things we all value, like love, commitment and family,” Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said.

“Same-sex couples want to marry for all the same reasons as other couples, including to provide a more secure and stable environment for our children.”

Croome said Foster’s change of heart on marriage equality is indicative of how much Tasmania has changed since it was the last state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1997.

“Tasmania was the first state with a civil union scheme, the first to recognise overseas same-sex marriages, and polls now show support for marriage equality is higher in Tasmania than elsewhere.

“Given the relatively high level of support for marriage equality in Tasmania, David Foster’s support means he is continuing his role as an ambassador for the state.”

Croome will speak at a marriage equality forum in Hobart next Tuesday alongside Foster and other equality supporters including former Liberal Party advisor and Mercury columnist Greg Barnes.

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