Tasmania Pushes On With Marriage Equality Effort


Tasmania’s administration, leaving behind the slow pace of the Australian federal government, has said it will push on with marriage equality plans even if federal plans fail.

Reports the Herald Sun:

[Premier Lara Giddings] said the state government would look to introduce legislation before the end of the year if acts currently before the federal parliament fail.

Legal advice suggested that there was nothing to stop a state going it alone, she said.

A same-sex marriage act already has the support of the state’s Greens, with whom the ALP shares power, but it would need to get past an upper house with 13 independents among its 15 members.

“I believe the community has reached that tipping point now where more people than not believe that this last form of discrimination should be removed,” Ms Giddings said.

These comments were made this week as members of Tasmania’s presiding Labor Party convened in Hobart for the annual state conference. However, this announcement did not sit well with the Party’s right-leaning faction.

Reports ABC News:

Members of the party’s Right faction remained seated as the dominant Left members gave a standing ovation in support of the announcement.

Senator Helen Polley, from the Right, says there should not be any celebrations.

“I truly believe that the majority of Tasmanians are opposed to same sex marriage,” she said.

The Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and Victoria all currently recognize civil unions. The federal government recognizes those unions for the purposes of federal entitlements, but coverage is limited.

The legal landscape under which Tasmania operates would appear to allow individual states to act independently of the federal government so as to legalize state-level marriages, potentially creating a similar legal situation to the one American same-sex couples face where individual states may sanction their marriages while for many federal purposes they will remain legal strangers.

Australia’s federal fight for marriage equality seems to have stalled since introduction of legislation earlier this year, even though the marriage equality bill has been the most strongly supported legislation in Australian history.

Tasmania remains ahead of the curve in support for marriage equality, with a 2010 national survey showing residents had already reached the 50% threshold of support, putting them far ahead of the national average.


Related Reading:

Tasmania to Recognize Some Foreign Same-Sex Partnerships and Marriages
Australian Gay Marriage Support: The Stats (VIDEO)
Trans Australians Win New Legal Recognition

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to David Jackmanson.


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Deborah F.
Deborah F5 years ago


Deborah F.
Deborah F5 years ago

Hooray for Tasmania.

Tracy Cockerton
Tracy Cockerton5 years ago

Well done, about time - everyone is treated equally - with respect!

Lynn Squance
Lynn S5 years ago

It certainly looks like Tasmania has enlightened leadership and people. It is time that ALL people around the world were equal.

leonie t.
Leonie Trevanion5 years ago

Go Tasmania go Lets hope the rest of the states and territories follow

alison bluett
alison b5 years ago

About time. I live in Tasmania and am happy for anyone this benefits.

John B.
John B5 years ago

Kudos to Premier Lara Giddings and to the majority of Tasmania's residents for supporting Marriage Equality. Thanks Steve for the article.

Jane H.
Jane H5 years ago

So many countries were ahead of us when it came to GLBT in the armed forces, and the more there are out there who ahead of us in allowing same -sen marriage, the more like we are to get it sooner.

Random K.
.5 years ago

And yet another country more democratic than we are.