Tasmania hits gay marriage stumbling block

After Premier Lara Gidding's announcement, reports suggest the Australian state will have a tough time legalizing marriage equality

Tasmania hits gay marriage stumbling block
05 August 2012

Australian state Tasmania has hit a stumbling block in the process to legalize gay marriage.

According to president of the Legislative Council Sue Smith, she has said it will have a tough time going through Tasmania’s Upper House.

On Saturday (4 August), Premier Lara Giddings told the State Labor Party conference she would move to legalize gay marriage by the end of 2012.

She said: ‘The time has come for that discrimination, that last piece of discrimination, to be removed.’

As the last state in Australia to legalize homosexuality in 1997, Gidding’s statement was a historic moment for the island south of the country.

Giddings said she had legal advice the Australian state could go it alone and she was confident she had the support of all state Labor MPs except Speaker Michael Polley.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson Rodney Croome said there had been an overwhelming response to the announcement.

He said: ‘In the last 24 hours the response to Lara Gidding’s announcement from same-sex couples and their families across the state and the nation has been overwhelming, with emails pouring in asking when can we marry?

‘Overnight, Tasmania has become a beacon of hope for hundreds of thousands of Australians.’

As reported by ABC News, Smith said while she personally opposed the change she could not speak for fellow members.

‘I would never presume to understand how my colleagues will vote,’ Smith said.

She added: ‘They will certainly listen to their electorates, they will do their homework and they will formulate an opinion on the wishes of the electorate and the legislation that’s before them.’

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who also opposes marriage equality, has told gays her own relationship proves that they do not need to marry.

She is also determined the bill should be a conscience vote, saying MPs should be free to vote against their own party’s wishes.

Gillard said: ‘We do have a bill before the Federal Parliament dealing with same sex marriage.

‘As for any laws that may be the subject of consideration in Tasmania, we don’t have any details at this stage.’

According to legal experts such as Professor Lee Badgett, they estimate Tasmania’s economy could gain a massive boost.

Badgett said if Tasmania becomes the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, then it will benefit by at least $96million (US$101m, £64m, €81m) from couples choosing to marry there.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Obama says repeal of Don't Ask, Don't tell has strengthened US security

Makes statement on one-year anniversary of end of anti-gay policy
No thumbnail available

White House against Virginia bill that could block gay adoptions

Says adoption should not be based on 'discriminatory and irrelevant factors'
No thumbnail available

Gay Facebook founder's husband to run for US Congress

Sean Eldridge, husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, is planning to run for a seat in New York in 2014
Eminem attacks Caitlyn Jenner in transphobic rap

Eminem attacks Caitlyn Jenner in transphobic rap

Rapper claims the 'real' him is not transphobic
No thumbnail available

New York recognizes first official gay art museum

Leslie-Lohman Museum accredited by the State of New York
No thumbnail available

REVIEW: A Fool Among Fools – novel by John Terracuso

If you're looking for a holiday romance to read over the summer then you might like John Terracuso's new book A Fool Among Fools.
Vandals attack LGBT photo exhibit in Kiev

Vandals attack LGBT photo exhibit in Kiev

Photo emerges of gay pride organiser in Kiev being beaten up by thugs
No thumbnail available

UK is ‘best place in Europe’ to be gay

Russia, Moldova, Ukraine and Macedonia are at the bottom of the list which rates European countries on LGBT equality
No thumbnail available

Gareth Gates comes home for gay pride performance

The UK pop star returns to his home city to perform at Leeds Pride
No thumbnail available

Gay CNN anchor Don Lemon calls actor Jonah Hill 'a tool'

Actor fires back via Twitter: 'Didn't realize you were a 12 year old girl'