Abbott says gay sister has ‘deepened’ his life
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has lauded his sister Christine Forster’s decision to come out as gay, saying she is “one of the bravest” people he knows whose actions “deepened” his own life.
The leader of the Coalition revealed his admiration for his younger sister with an open letter published in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday to drum up support ahead of her first foray into politics. Forster is listed as number two on the Liberal Party ticket for the City of Sydney local government elections on September 8.
“My sister Chris is one of the bravest people I know,” Abbott wrote.
“It takes real guts for a basically conservative person to admit she’s gay and to build a new life based on who she really is. She’s managed to negotiate the inevitable hurt in a way that’s kept the love of her vast network of family and friends.
“She’s running for Sydney City Council on her policies not on her sexuality but the way she’s handled this shows the character she’d bring to public life.”
Forster was publically outed by The Australian in April of this year as having been involved in a long term same-sex relationship since 2008 following her separation from her husband. A few months later, Forster was endorsed as a candidate for the Liberal Party after accepting an offer to run for pre-selection.
Abbott said his sister and her partner, Virginia Edwards, both thought highly of incumbent Lord Mayor Clover Moore but believed a change was necessary at Town Hall.
“They admired Clover Moore but think that, after 24 years in office, she’s run out of good ideas for a city that’s been standing still since the Olympics.
“Sydney has to be a good place to work and to start a business in as well as a great place to live. It’s has to be a city, not just a village,” Abbott wrote.
“Chris and I don’t agree on everything but her courage has deepened my life as well as her own. I know that she can bring change for the better to Sydney as well.”
In an interview with SX earlier this month, Forster said Abbott was a caring and compassionate brother despite his continued opposition to marriage equality.
“Tony listens to people,” Forster told SX. “He has a huge heart. He is also a man of great conviction, but he listens to people. He is a very empathetic and compassionate man.”
SX understands Abbott is expected to hit the streets of Sydney to join his sister on the campaign trail sometime over the next few days.