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Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster joins Pride March in St Kilda

Date

Chris Hingston

Christine Forster (right) with her partner Virginia Edwards.

Christine Forster (right) with her partner Virginia Edwards. Photo: James Boddington

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster is determined to marry her fiancee Virginia Edwards in Australia, but concedes she likely faces a ''long engagement''.

Sporting a rainbow tie-dye T-shirt and with her partner by her side, Ms Forster marched with fellow Liberal Party politicians in the Pride March on Sunday.

About 30,000 people braved near-40-degree heat to watch the march on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.

Melbourne Gay Pride parade. Click for more photos

Gay Pride March

Over 5000 marchers strode down Fitzroy Street in St Kilda as a 30,000 plus strong crowd applauded and celebrated the Pride March under a warm and sunny Melbourne sky. The march is a celebration of the courage, solidarity, pride, diversity and strong sense of community of Victoria's gay, lesbian bisexual transgender and intersex (GLBTI) people. Photo: James Boddington

Ms Forster, a Liberal City of Sydney councillor, said the march was a ''wonderful celebration of community, diversity and equality''.

She said Australia's laws preventing same-sex marriage were ''the last bastion of inequality for gay and lesbian couples''.

Ms Forster said she and Ms Edwards had agreed to only get married in Australia.

''It's not a pressing need for everyone, but for same-sex couples wanting to get married it is extraordinarily pressing,'' she said.

She said marriage equality was now ''open for discussion'' within the Liberal Party. ''That's a big shift in my mind.''

Pride March Victoria president Matt Renwick said the march was a celebration.

''We are a strong and dynamic community - there is something for everyone,'' he said.

''We are here and we are proud.''

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