Tasmania: equal marriage bill passes in first stage of parliament

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Tasmanian advocators of equal marriage celebrated today, as a bill to legalise same-sex marriage was passed in the first chamber of parliament.

The lower house passed the bill 13 votes to 11. It would legalise same-sex marriage, and was co-sponsored by Labour Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim.

Labour MPs had a free vote on the bill, and all but one, Michael Polley, voted in favour. All ten Liberal MPs were bound by their party’s policy to vote against it.

The national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich, said said that this vote meant that the move towards marriage equality in Tasmania was ”unstoppable”.

”If Federal Parliament fails to deliver it, we now know this will happen state by state and territory by territory,” he told WAtoday.

Last week the Australian Green Party voiced their concerns over the government attempting to bring in an early vote on the marriage equality bill, in order to to clear it off the political agenda.

Earlier this month, a Premier of South Australia and Tasmania, Jay Weatherill, said that they were going to legislate to introduce same-sex marriage on state-level, regardless of what Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard or parliament did.

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