Shayne Mallard to become first gay Liberal to marry
Outgoing City of Sydney councillor Shayne Mallard will be the first gay member of the Liberal Party to take part in a same-sex marriage after announcing plans to marry in Denmark next year.
Mallard’s impending nuptials were announced as the party’s membership settled on Sydney Branch president Edward Mandla over Tony Abbott’s lesbian sister, Christine Forster, to take on Lord Mayor Clover Moore at September’s council elections. Foster will now run as number two on the ticket.
Mallard, who is leaving Council so that he may challenge Moore for her state seat of Sydney, told SX the selection of Mandla and Forster was a good move for the community.
“Edward and indeed Christine are the candidates vying for the seats on the council and for Lord Mayor and they certainly strongly carry the values I that I’ve carried in the council,” he said.
“They support marriage equality. They are about compassionate solutions to problems. They are good quality candidates that inner-city residents and communities should feel comfortable supporting.”
Speaking about his upcoming wedding to his Danish partner of more than a decade, Mallard maintained there was plenty of support for marriage equality within Liberal Party ranks despite federal Coalition Leader Tony Abbott’s position against it.
“There’s a lot of support for marriage equality in the Liberal Party across the board – parliamentary and in the general party,” he said.
“But I didn’t make this life changing decision on the basis of political opportunity, I can assure you.”
Mallard did suggest however that Australia was being left behind by other western democracies when it came to the reform.
“They’ve had civil unions for 15 years. Now they’ve got gay marriage and it can be conducted in a church,” he said.
“It just goes to show how far behind Australia is in this sort of thinking.”