Friday, August 31, 2012

Equality on the march in Tasmania

Tasmania's lower house has passed a marriage equality bill, becoming the first chamber of any Australian legislature to do so:

The bill, co-sponsored by Labor Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim, passed by 13 votes to 11.

Labor MPs had a free vote on the bill. All but one, Michael Polley, voted with Green MPs in support of the bill.

The house's 10 Liberal members were bound by the party's position to vote against the bill. Advertisement

The bill will still need to pass the upper house, and its passage is by no means certain. Still, they've won the first battle - and in a state widely considered to be Australia's most backward as well (Tasmania decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, just 15 years ago). If marriage equality can win there, it can win anywhere.

(Despite this, the ALP remains resolutely opposed to marriage equality at the federal level. Which gives Australian voters a choice between one party of racist bigots, or the coalition. And they wonder why they're bleeding support to the Greens...)