Former Aussie Prime Minister: ‘I Was Head-Butted for Not Supporting Marriage Equality’

Former Aussie Prime Minister: ‘I Was Head-Butted for Not Supporting Marriage Equality’

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On Thursday, Sept. 22, a man wearing a “Vote Yes” badge indicating his support for marriage equality in the ongoing Australian mail-in plebiscite, allegedly delivered a “marriage equality head-butt” to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his long history of opposing same-sex marriage.

The attack happened in Hobart, Tasmania. The accused head-butter, a local DJ named DJ Astro “Funknukl” Labe, has since been arrested but says the incident had nothing to do with marriage equality.


PM Abbott claims it was a marriage equality head-butt

Here’s how the attack went down, according to Abbott’s interview on Melbourne’s 3AW radio show:

I was walking from the Mercury office across that docks area, that beautiful docks area in Hobart, towards my hotel. A fellow sung out at me “Hey Tony!” I turned around, there was a chap wearing a “Vote Yes” badge. He says, “I wanna shake your hand.”

I went over to shake his hand and then he head-butted me. Now, he wasn’t very good at it, I’ve gotta say, but he did make contact. The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip. I was with a member of my staff [who] briefly grappled with this guy, and he then ran off swearing his head off basically. It was just a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting.

The BBC says the attacker also claimed, “You deserve it because of what you’ve said.”


DJ Astro Labe claims it wasn’t a marriage equality headbutt

According to the ABC, the 38-year-old DJ claimed to be an anarchist who head-butted Mr Abbott “because I didn’t think it was an opportunity I’d get again.” He added that he happened to be wearing a “Vote Yes” sticker “purely because a friend of mine had walked past handing them out and had stuck one on my jacket.”

RELATED | Breaking Down Marriage Equality in Australia with LGBTQ Activist Nic Holas (Video)

Nevertheless, Abbott described the attack as “politically motivated violence.”

Australia is in the middle of a non-binding postal plebiscite to determine the electorate’s will on marriage equality. The mail-in ballots are due by Nov. 7 and the government is expected to announce a result by Nov. 25, 2017.


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