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World Champ Wood Chopper Speaks Out for Gay Marriage

World Champ Wood Chopper Speaks Out for Gay Marriage


David Foster of Tasmania is not only a world champion axeman, he's also an unlikely supporter of gay causes, including marriage equality.

Four years ago, Foster's daughter Sally sat down with the wood chopper and his wife, Jan, and told them she was a lesbian. Foster admits that prior to the disclosure he was "a bit anti-that," but says the conversation opened his eyes and helped him change his views.

"Everyone has an opinion, but once it's close to home you realize what's important. My daughter is the same daughter I reared, and just because her sexual preferences are different from mine doesn't mean a thing," he said, adding that he welcomes Sally, her partner, Lily, and their daughter, Wren, who's almost 1, into his family.

On Tuesday, Foster, 54, who says his pro-gay stance has brought him flak from some of his friends, is scheduled to speak on behalf of same-sex marriage at a public forum in the capital of the Australian state.

"Sally is my daughter," Foster said, "and I love her and I'm proud of her. Sometimes you've got to stand up and be heard." The way he sees it, "she is a nurse, she has a beautiful partner and a child, and if they wish to get married, I can't see why they can't."

Rodney Croome, the spokesman for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, says Foster's story demonstrates the way in which Tasmanian attitudes have evolved. "I'm confident that with supporters like David Foster this reform is inevitable," he said.

Read more here.

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