Vote on gay marriage fails in first Australian state

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Australian state of New South Wales has failed in a narrow vote of 19 to 21

Vote on gay marriage fails in first Australian state
14 November 2013

New South Wales (NSW) has backed away from becoming the first Australian state to legalize same-sex marriage with Members of the state Legislative Council (MLCs) voting narrowly to defeat the measure.

MLCs voted 21 to 19 against the measure which had been put forward by a cross parliamentary working group on same-sex marriage which included both Government and Opposition lawmakers.

Even if the bill had passed in the Legislative Council it would likely have had a tougher time in the state House of Representatives where the ruling conservative Liberal National Coalition have a large majority.

The news comes on the heels of new polling that shows a majority of those in the state are supporters of reform, with only 35% agreeing that only opposite sex couples should be allowed to marry in an ABC Vote Compass online poll that involved 570,000 people nation wide – making it the largest sample size to date.

52.7% of NSW voters were in favor of same-sex marriage while 12.4% were neutral on the issue.

The results for NSW were roughly in line with the national average.

The polling data was welcomed by the Australian campaign for same-sex marriage.

‘Even though the question was about keeping marriage in its current form rather than about allowing same-sex couples to marry, the result still showed majority support for reform,’ Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said.

‘This indicates a high level of awareness among ordinary Australians about the discrimination inherent in current Australian marriage law.

‘Particularly pleasing is that 40% of Australians, including almost 60% of young Australians, strongly disagree that marriage should be restricted to heterosexual couples.’

However Croome said the narrow defeat of the bill showed the potential for what could be done with a bipartisan approach to reform.

‘The fact the NSW vote was so close and that it had unprecedented support from Coalition members is due to cross-party cooperation and a Coalition conscience vote,’ Croome said.

‘NSW has shown what the path forward at a national level should be.’

Croome also welcomed the news that a bill aiming to legalize same-sex marriage at a national level will be reintroduced into the Australian Parliament by the Greens party. ‘We welcome today’s announcement by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young that she intends to introduce a federal marriage equality bill and is seeking cross-party support,’ Croome said.

‘Our priority is to foster cross-party cooperation at a federal level through the establishment of a cross-party working group and a co-sponsored bill.

‘We are also working towards a Coalition conscience vote to ensure the Bill has the best chance of success.’

The Australian Capital Territory became the first Australian jurisdiction to pass a law allowing same-sex couples to marry in October but that law will soon be the subject of a High Court challenge.

Croome said NSW was likely to revisit the issue following the High Court’s decision.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Here’s what could happen when you take your family to vote in favor of same-sex marriage

Voting yes for marriage equality? Bring your family with you, urges new video ahead of Irish same-sex marriage referendum
No thumbnail available

Justin Bieber is being offered $2 million to film a gay porn sex scene

Chances are currently being rated from 'zero' to 'never in a billion years'
No thumbnail available

Uganda president playing both sides on anti-gay law

Only President Yoweri Museveni stands in the way of draconian anti-LGBTI bill becoming law. He appears to want to win domestic support without alienating international opinion
No thumbnail available

Gay porn star, 18, commits suicide

He was the suspect of a shooting before it is believed he turned the gun on himself
No thumbnail available

Dolce and Gabbana magazine director resigns over gay parenting comments

Says designers should stick to designing clothes
No thumbnail available

Will Green Lantern be gay?

Original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, is reportedly the gay character to be revealed next month by DC Comics
No thumbnail available

UK schools still failing to stop anti-gay bullying

Stonewall report describes how lesbian teen was taunted and set on fire before teachers took action against bullies
Walmart sued for previously denying health insurance to lesbian employee’s wife

Walmart sued for previously denying health insurance to lesbian employee’s wife

When Jacqueline Cote’s wife developed cancer the couple had to find $150,000 to cover medical bills
No thumbnail available

Teen girls 'convert to Islam', say ‘Justin Bieber is gay’ in Arabic, for free tickets

A Norwegian comedy show tricked five young fans of the Canadian heartthrob to win free tickets for his concert in Oslo
No thumbnail available

Gay man’s letter to equal marriage opponent goes viral in France

French comic Frigide Barjot, a leader of the anti-gay marriage movement, has been sent a letter protesting her violent views