Tasmanian marriage equality advocates say the message to Tasmania’s Upper House from today’s election is to stop blocking marriage equality.

As at the close of counting…
Votes for candidates supporting marriage equality: 51.40%
Votes for candidate opposed to marriage equality: 48.60%

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“A majority of voters - over 51% - cast their ballot for candidates who support Tasmania leading the way on marriage equality, sending a clear message to the Upper House to stop blocking this reform.”

“In the seat of Nelson, where the marriage equality campaign was strongest, sitting member, Jim Wilkinson, was punished for not supporting state marriage equality, with a swing against him of 15% and the overall majority of votes going to pro-equality candidates.”

“In the seat of Montgomery, the only candidate who declared opposition to state marriage equality, Leonie Hiscutt, also failed to win a majority of votes.”

“Jim Wilkinson and Leonie Hiscutt now know that a majority of voters in their seats want marriage equality, and, if elected, it is their duty to represent that view in the Upper House.”

“The majority of votes in favour of pro-equality candidates came despite a fear campaign run by anti-gay groups and an overall swing to the Liberals in Tasmania, sending a clear message to all Upper House members to support this reform.”

Mr Croome said the campaign for state same-sex marriage law will be intensified following today’s election.

“We are encouraged by the election result and will now step up our campaign to have the Bill re-introduced and passed.”

“Our focus will be on showing Upper House members the widespread support for marriage equality in their electorates, and opening their hearts and minds to the importance and urgency of allowing same-sex couples to marry.”

Despite not achieving a majority of votes, opponents of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill appear likely to be elected in all three divisions, maintaining the status quo of eight votes to six against the Bill in the Upper House.