Australian Greens MLC (Member of the Legislative Council) Tammy Franks today introduced a marriage equality bill to the state government for South Australia, home to the city of Adelaide. South Australian Liberal Party leader, Isobel Redmond, has promised a conscience vote on the bill, meaning it has a chance of passing into state law.
Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich welcomed the bill and conscience vote saying: ‘My hope is that the federal parliament will enact marriage equality this year, but if that doesn't happen Tammy Franks' bill is a timely reminder that the state parliaments are free to move forward on this important issue.’
Similar legislation before the Tasmanian parliament means that if the federal government in Australia doesn’t legalise same-sex marriage this year, marriage equality could come to at least two states.
Greenwich added: ‘A South Australian Liberal conscience vote also sends a strong message to the federal Coalition about the importance of MPs voting according to their individual values.’
Nationally, the opposition leader has indicated backbench MPs will be able to vote freely on a marriage equality bill, but frontbenchers will have to follow the Liberal party’s line against same-sex marriage.