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Tony Abbott's sister is actively lobbying the PM on the new marriage equality bill.

With renewed debate on marriage equality in the government this week, the PM’s sister is pushing Tony Abbott to allow his colleague to vote with their conscience.

Tony Abbott‘s openly gay sister and Liberal Party Councillor in Sydney Christine Forster has once again spoken of the need for marriage equality in Australia.

The renewed dialogue comes in the wake of Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm’s push for a conscience vote in the party room on Thursday this week.

The Liberal Democrat Senator, Mr Leyonhjelm has already introduced the draft legislation to legalise gay marriage and will move to start debate in the Senate over the next two weeks.

While Labor has agreed to allow their members to have a conscience vote, Liberal Members and Senators have previously been bound by their leader’s decision. Tony Abbott is opposed to marriage equality, but a number of Liberal MPs including Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull have publicly backed same-sex marriage.

With the PM’s current position, any marriage equality bill has no chance of passing unless Tony Abbott allows MPs and Senators to have a free vote.

More about that here: Tony Abbott calls living in Indigenous communities a ‘lifestyle choice’.

Ms Forster told Sky News’ Viewpoint that she “absolutely will be lobbying [her] brother”. “I hope the party room makes enough noise about this,” she said.

Councillor Christine Forster with her brother Tony Abbott.

The councillor, who has previously been very open about her struggles with coming out to her family, went on to confirm her that her brother’s position on gay marriage is largely unchanged.

“Tony’s position has been well stated, and it’s on the record that he doesn’t support any changes to the Marriage Act,” she said. Adding that, “I hope the party room tells him that they very firmly believe it’s a conscience issue, and he will abide by what they [the party room] tell him.”

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Forster with her partner Virginia Edwards (centre), alongside Mike Baird and Tony Abbott.

Speaking to SBS last month, Ms Forster opened up about her relationship with her fiancée Virginia Edwards and the challenge of coming out to her family later in life – at a time when both her and Edwards were in married to men, with children.

“It’s undescribably difficult,” she said of her decision to leave her marriage and pursue a life with the woman she loved.

More: Tony Abbott on his gay sister: ‘Her courage has deepened my life.’

 “Tony, of all my immediate family members, was the most supportive. People raise their eyebrows when I say this, but it is the honest truth.”

Watch that full interview here… (Post continues below).

When Forster first ran for election as a Sydney Councillor, her then-Opposition Leader brother was vocal in his support of her:

“My sister Chris is one of the bravest people I know. 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,” he said.

“She’s managed to negotiate the inevitable hurt in a way that’s kept the love of her vast network of family and friends.”

But despite the bond shared by these siblings, it appears that perhaps not even blood is strong enough to ensure an alliance on matters of the heart…

What do you think? Should the PM listen to his sister and allow a conscience vote?

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