Last evening the Tasmanian same-sex marriage bill experienced a narrow defeat in the upper-house, with votes settling at 8 to 6.
The Tasmanian bill now stands as the closest venture towards achieving marriage equality; the Bill had successfully passed through the lower-house but has now been stopped dead in its tracks.
Greens leader Nick McKim showed bitter disappointment towards the outcome, and the eight members who voted against the bill –
‘The Legislative Council has chosen division over unity, discrimination over respect, and the Nineteenth Century over the Twenty First’, he said.
‘It has held Tasmania back morally, socially and economically and condemned itself to the wrong side of history.’
Despite the loss, activists still hold high hopes, Rodney Croome from Australian Marriage Equality spoke out – ‘The fact that most Upper House members who voted against this Bill cited constitutional issues as the problem shows we have won the marriage equality debate even though the Bill was lost’, he said.
Having been the last Australian state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1997, the state now stands as the most progressive for same-sex marriage rights.
Believing strongly that the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage, Croome thanked those that shared their stories in efforts to persuade Tasmanian MP’s – ‘I pay tribute to all those many thousands of Tasmanians who have bared their souls and told their personal stories in an effort to persuade Upper House members to support reform.’
Despite the loss, state marriage bill propositions will go ahead in Western Australia, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and South Australia.