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22 Sep 2011

Tasmania becomes the first Australian state to vote for marriage equality for gays and lesbians

Tasmania, the last state in Australia to decriminalise sodomy in 1997, has become the first to pass a motion supporting gay marriage.


The Tasmanian parliament has become the first in Australia to formally support same-sex marriage.

The Assembly on Wednesday voted 13 - 9 in a motion calling for in-principle support for marriage equality and for the federal Government to reform the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry. All Greens and Labor MPs voted in favour of the motion while Liberal Party members voted against.

Giddings said the vote was a great day for the state. 

"Tasmania has come a long way since 1997 when we rectified the terrible situation of having homosexual relationships considered illegal in this state," she said. "We've come a long way to show we are in fact a tolerant and compassionate community." 

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Alex Greenwich said people nationwide followed the debate. 

"What they heard today was a message of hope. They heard a message of hope coming out of the Tasmanian Parliament that one day gay and lesbian Australians will be treated equally by the law and by the Marriage Act," he said. "This gives us the momentum and the encouragement to go on and keep fighting."

Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim said Tasmania was sending a clear message to Canberra, and specifically federal Labor, who will debate same-sex marriage at its national conference in December. 

"Its time for the federal government to change our nation's laws and provide for marriage equality for all Australians, regardless of gender, regardless of sexuality," he was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald

"The Tasmanian parliament has given thousands of same-sex couples around Australia – and their families and friends – hope that change is coming." 

Although Prime Minister and Labor leader Julia Gillard has expressed her support for retaining the current definition of the Marriage Act which does not recognise same-sex marriages, motions of support for marriage equality have been passed by her party’s Queensland, Tasmania, West Australia, South Australia, Victoria, ACT and Northern Territory branches. 

Reader's Comments

1. 2011-09-22 19:07  
Congratulations to all involved in this historic motion being passed in the Parliament. It is particularly good to know that the Tasmanian Labor Party is doing what their federal counterparts seem too scared to do. I hope they can bring pressure to bear when it counts.
2. 2011-09-23 11:12  
Hear, hear #1 :-)! Well, another spin-off benefit for Australia, if the Marriage Act were indeed amended to allow for gay marriage, would be a quadrupling of "pink tourism" -- think of the hundreds of gay couples from Singapore, Malaysia and other parts of South East Asia flocking to, say, Perth to get legally hitched. Julia Gillard, put a practical head on those frumpy shoulders, please!
3. 2011-09-24 05:44  
Good example for other countries
4. 2011-09-24 10:50  
So the Liberal Party is not so liberal after all......
5. 2011-09-26 00:00  
Dear friends,
Please support M. Ravi's constitutional challenge of Section 377A by attending the hearing at the Court of Appeal this Tuesday, 27th September at 10 a.m.
This is a watershed event in Singapore's LGBT history.
Thank you,
Roy Tan.
For further details, please see:
6. 2011-09-26 00:08  
how about making Tasmania an independent country for all LGBT where the people will vote for their own President and have its own laws instead? wink!


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