A leading Australian rugby player and committed Christian, David Pocock, took time out from preparations for Sunday’s World Cup quarter final clash with South Africa in Wellington, New Zealand, to ‘come out’ in support of marriage equality.
He said that he and his female partner will not marry until their gay friends can.
Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, welcomed Mr Pocock’s statement saying it shows support for the issue is increasingly widespread in all sections of Australian society.
“David Pocock’s strong support for equality will have a dramatic impact in a sports-mad nation like Australia,” Mr Greenwich said.
“David’s stance also sends out the message that marriage equality is a reform Christians can and should support.”
In an interview in today’s New Zealand Herald, Mr Pocock, who is a flanker in the Australian national rugby team, the Wallabies, and is regarded as one of the toughest rugby players in the world, said: “I don’t see what the big deal is with the whole gay marriage debate in Australia.
“Being brought up in a Christian home and still identifying as Christian, I get pretty annoyed with the Christian lobbies around the world who say gay marriage destroys the family and all that kind of rubbish.
“They claim to follow someone who always stood up for the oppressed and marginalised.
“I guess it is a fear of the unknown – if you talk to someone who doesn’t like gay people you can almost guarantee that they don’t know too many.
“These are the prejudices that you have to challenge and break down. Emma and I decided not to get legally married until our gay friends could do the same.”
Last month, Australia’s leading axeman, David Foster, who describes himself as “an old-fashioned bushie”, surprised many by declaring his support for marriage equality.
Mr Foster, whose daughter Sally is in a same-sex relationship and is raising a child, said like any father, he wants to be able to walk his daughter down the aisle.