Advocates have hailed last night’s overwhelming vote for marriage equality in the Tasmanian Parliament saying it sends a strong message to federal MPs to support the reform. A Greens motion was passed 15 votes to 9 with the support of Liberal Premier Will Hodgman and almost half of his Liberal colleagues.
Australian Marriage Equality national director and 2015 Tasmanian of the Year, Rodney Croome, said: “I am very proud of the Tasmanian Parliament for sending a strong message to Canberra that it’s time for marriage equality and a strong message to the nation that Tasmania is an inclusive society.”
“I applaud Will Hodgman, his deputy, Jeremy Rockliff, and all those Liberals who have shown courage and leadership by voting for the marriage equality motion. I hope those Tasmanian federal members who are yet to declare their support for marriage quality heed the Tasmanian Parliament and take the message to Canberra that Tasmanians want marriage equality.”
“The fact the Tasmanian Liberals had a free vote on marriage equality is a reminder to their federal Liberal colleagues that free votes are a foundational Liberal principle, and that they should do the same when voting on marriage equality legislation.”
Mr Croome said Will Hodgman is the only current Liberal Premier who supports marriage equality and there is more support among Tasmanian Liberal state MPs than in any other Liberal caucus in Australia.
“There is more support for marriage equality in the Tasmanian Parliament under the current Liberal Government than there was under the previous Labor/Green Government when a similar motion was passed 14 votes to 10, showing that the arc of history is bending to marriage equality.”
“I pay tribute to all those Tasmanians from all walks of life – couples, parents, business people, farmers, sports people and people of faith – who have patiently spoken out in support of marriage equality. Parliament’s support for marriage equality is your victory and your vindication,” said Mr Croome.
Mr Croome welcomed a Liberal Party amendment to the motion affirming a free and respectful debate on marriage equality. “Everyone should feel free to express their views on marriage equality in a way which respects the convictions and feelings of others.”
Image: Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman