Elton John has called for gay marriage to be legalised in Australia, as the country votes in a postal survey to ascertain the level of support for a change in the law.
In a heartfelt post on Instagram, John wrote that for him and his husband David Furnish, who he married in 2014, “being able to openly love and commit to one another, and for that to be recognised and celebrated is what makes life truly worth living”.
He said that recognition “makes us want to be as kind, responsible and productive members of society, as well as the best parents, that we can be. I love Australia. I love its spirit, its lack of pretence, its passion. I hope it can embrace the honesty and courage that seeks gay marriage as an expression not of desire but of love”.
He made mention of his first marriage in 1984, to German recording engineer Renate Bluel, which took place in St Mark’s church in Sydney. “I wanted more than anything to be a good husband, but I denied who I really was, which caused my wife sadness, and caused me huge guilt and regret,” he said. “To be worthy of someone’s love, you have to be brave enough and clear eyed enough to be honest with yourself and your partner.”
John joins other public figures who have called for Australians to show their support for gay marriage, including TV host Ellen DeGeneres and Apple boss Tim Cook. Margot Robbie wrote “love is love” on Instagram this week, while her fellow Australian actor Liam Hemsworth wrote: “I believe it’s a human right to be able to marry the person you love regardless of gender.”
A Guardian Essential poll this week found that 55% of people surveyed were in favour of gay marriage, though support had dropped 4% in a fortnight as opposition rose. The “no” campaign have spent five times more than their opponents on TV advertising.
Australians have until 7 November to show their support or resistance to the legalisation of gay marriage via the voluntary survey. If a majority show support, Australian parliament will debate and vote on the issue.