Fathers and daughters are hardly strangers to disagreement. And so it is with Tony Abbott, the prominent Australian anti-same-sex marriage campaigner, and his daughter Frances, who has backed the rival yes campaign in the country’s keenly contested postal survey.
Two weeks after she put herself at odds with her father, the country’s former prime minister, with a post on Instagram, Frances Abbott has appeared in an advert calling on Australians to back marriage equality in the country’s non-binding, voluntary survey.
“You can’t help who you fall in love with. Love just happens sometimes and it’s unexpected and that’s kind of what’s the awesome thing about it,” Frances Abbott said in the video released by the Equality Campaign.
The stories you need to read, in one handy email
She referred to her aunt – and Tony Abbott’s sister – Christine Forster, who lives with her partner, Virginia Edwards. “I don’t think she planned to fall in love with Virginia – it just happened. It never really changed anything, she was still aunty Chris – she’s still going to be at Christmas, she’s still going to be at the family barbecues, her children are still my cousins,” Frances Abbott said.
“This is why it really just doesn’t make sense to me that [gay marriage] is not allowed.”
The campaign over the issue has been bruising – not least to Tony Abbott, who was allegedly headbutted in the face by a yes campaigner last week.
Astro Labe, 38, has been arrested and charged after the incident. While he has since said it was not related to the campaign, it has been claimed he was wearing a vote yes badge. “It was just a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting,” Abbott told an Australian radio station.