... TASMANIAN MPs HELP ENACT HISTORIC MARRIAGE EQUALITY LEGISLATION

The long campaign for marriage equality passed its final hurdle today (Thursday), thanks to strong support from Tasmanian representatives in the Federal Parliament.

All five Tasmanian Lower House members voted for an unamended Bill, which last week passed the Upper House with the support of eight out of the 10 sitting Tasmanian Senators. This is believed to be the highest level of support among any Australian state or territory representatives.

Long-time gay rights advocate and spokesperson for Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, said it was an emotional moment.

“Today marks the end of a long campaign for marriage equality and the dismantling of the last legal discrimination against same-sex couples,” said Mr Croome.

“It’s such an overwhelming feeling to realise that we’ve done it.

“I want to thank all of those involved in the campaign, whether like me you have lived and breathed it for the last 14 years, or whether you came on board in recent months. Every person who ticked ‘yes’ played a part in this momentous victory for Australia.

“I also want to honour those who didn’t make it to this moment. For many LGBTI people, the road was too fraught and the price was too high. I wish you were here to see your country embrace you.”

Mr Croome also paid tribute to the Tasmanian federal representatives whose strong support in both Houses of Parliament helped enact marriage equality legislation.

“I’m so proud to be Tasmanian right now. On November 15, we recorded the third highest ‘yes’ vote in the country.

“Our elected representatives have honoured that result by voting overwhelmingly for equality – 13 out of 15 representatives across both houses supported the Bill. We believe this is the highest level of support among any state or territory representatives.”

Mr Croome said looked forward to attending many weddings in 2018.

“Next year looks set to be a wonderful year of love, family and commitment.

“I also congratulate the many thousands of same sex couples whose overseas marriages will be officially recognised under Australian law.”