Australia: Defeat for equal marriage bill in Tasmania

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Tasmania’s same-sex marriage bill has failed to pass the Legislative Council after a key member indicated he would vote against it.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, equal marriage advocates in the Australian island state have conceded defeat.

It’s a bitter blow for gay rights campaigners. Last week, the country’s Federal Parliament defeated several equal marriage bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The numbers for marriage reform in Tasmania were lost this morning when the eighth vote against the bill was declared in the 15 member state upper house.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Rodney Croome said lower house approval and some backing in the council were great achievements, given that Tasmania was last to decriminalise homosexuality in the country.

“In Tasmania we’ve come closer to allowing same-sex couples to marry than ever before in Australia’s history,” Mr Croome said. “If opponents of this bill think they have put the debate to bed they are wrong.”

Earlier this summer, Premier of South Australia and Tasmania Jay Weatherill, said the state was going to legislate to introduce same-sex marriage at a state-level, regardless of equal marriage opposition from Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.