A parliamentary motion to stop the federal government from challenging state same-sex marriage laws has failed in the Australian parliament.
Marriage equality proponent Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young brought the motion to the Senate today but it was defeated by 38 votes to 10.
‘Today the Gillard government refused to let the states get on with the business of representing the majority of Australian people who support marriage equality without the fear of a legal challenge from the Commonwealth,’ said Hanson-Young after the vote, AAP reports.
Hanson-Young added that the Prime Minister, who opposes legalizing gay marriage ‘is choosing to further hinder this inevitable reform’.
Fears of a constitutional challenge in the High Court was one of the main reasons cited by members of Tasmania’s upper house who rejected a state same-sex marriage bill last month.
Same-sex marriage bills have also been tabled in Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales (NSW), South Australia and the Australian Capital Territories (ACT).
In South Australia a same-sex marriage bill was tabled in the upper house last February by Greens MLC Tammy Franks and the state’s Liberal Party leader Isobel Redmond has promised a free conscience vote on the issue.
Australian Marriage Equality national convenor told Gay Star News yesterday that he is most hopeful about legislation moving forward in South Australia, NSW and the ACT.