A man has been charged over the alleged headbutting former prime minister Tony Abbott in Hobart yesterday.
The 38-year-old North Hobart man has been charged with assault.
The former PM has alleged that he was asked for a handshake by the man, who then headbutted him. Abbott, who is a known anti-marriage equality advocate, claims the man was wearing a “Yes” badge, in supporting for same-sex marriage.
The altercation left the MP with a “very slightly swollen lip”, he says.
The man has been granted bail and will appear in the Hobart Magistrates Court tomorrow morning.
Following the incident Abbott said it was “a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting” and questioned what was to come if the Marriage Act was amended to include same-sex couples.
“If the actual debate about same-sex marriage is producing this kind of intolerance and bullying, how much worse would it get if the brave new world of same-sex marriage actually came to be?” he said.
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has publicly declared he will be voting “Yes” in the postal vote for same-sex marriage, has condemned the violence.
“I condemn it,” he said today on radio 91.1 FM.
“It’s utterly un-Australian. It’s wrong. It’s an assault too, by the way and I’ve been in touch with Tony and indeed the Federal Police Commissioner because we need to make sure the police get all the information they need.
“We absolutely condemn that and I just want to say that while one incident like that is one too many and it is to be deplored and condemned, nonetheless overwhelmingly, Australians, while they do have different views on this, are expressing those different views and discussing them in a very respectful way.”
NOW READ: Same-sex marriage campaigners say the guy who headbutted Tony Abbott in the street is ‘beneath contempt’
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