Media Release
Wednesday September 19th 2012


Tasmanian marriage equality advocates are disappointed federal parliament has voted against marriage equality, saying the way forward for the issue is now at a state level.

The House of Representatives this afternoon voted 98 to 42 against marriage equality, with the Senate expected to vote against tomorrow.

“The federal vote is disappointing but it also shows how support has grown in recent times with more MPs supporting marriage equality than ever before.”

“The path forward for this reform is now at the state level, with Tasmania poised to pass same-sex marriage laws and South Australia, the ACT, Western Australia and NSW considering a similar move.”

“I hope to see same-sex couples marrying under state laws somewhere in Australia sooner rather than later.”

Today, it was announced that NSW Liberal Premier, Barry O’Farrell, will allow a conscience vote on state same-sex marriage laws and a cross-party working group of NSW state MPs will push for such legislation.

Mr Croome said today’s defeat will not discourage marriage equality advocates.

“The deck was stacked against marriage equality in the federal parliament thanks to Labor allowing a conscience vote and the Coalition refusing one.”

“But the majority of Australians support marriage equality, and the tide of history is flowing towards it, so I am confident this reform will be achieved despite the efforts of those who oppose it.”

Tasmania Now Positioned to Lead

Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader
Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said today’s decision in Federal Parliament to block legislation for marriage equality was extremely disappointing, but had cleared the way for Tasmania to take the lead.

“This is an extremely disappointing decision, sadly made worse by a few ill-considered and hurtful comments by some of the opponents of marriage equality,” Mr McKim said.

“The people who want this reform more than anyone, the thousands of loving same sex couples around Australia, should at least take comfort in the knowledge that marriage equality will happen one way or another.”

“We have said many times that we would love Tasmania to become the first state to legalise same sex marriage, but that’s only if the Federal Parliament refused to act.”

“Now that it’s clear marriage equality will not be delivered in the Federal Parliament any time soon, Tasmania has an opportunity to take this history-making step.”

“I am certain that many Tasmanians living in same sex relationships have already begun wondering about what their own wedding day might be like, if this Bill is passed in the Upper House.”

“Tasmanian Upper House Members have made it clear that they want to think this reform through very carefully, which is entirely appropriate.”

“The Greens are hopeful that Upper House Members will closely consider views of the clear majority of Tasmanians, who want our state to lead the way on this issue.”

“The Greens hope that the decision by the New South Wales Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell to grant his members a conscience vote on this issue might prompt the Tasmanian Liberal Leader to do the same.”

“It would be a great demonstration of leadership if Mr Hodgman were to grant Vanessa Goodwin a conscience vote on marriage equality,” Mr McKim said.