Andrew Smith, Australian correspondent

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Tasmania same-sex ‘marriage’ bill fails

Andrew Smith, Australian correspondent
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Hobart, Australia, October 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Yet another attempt to pass a same-sex “marriage” bill was defeated in Australia today in the Tasmanian Upper House by a vote of 8 to 6. The motion was introduced by Independent MLC, Ruth Forrest, and sought to reignite a bill that failed at an earlier attempt late last year.

Same-sex “marriage” was debated in both Tasmanian houses in 2012, but failed to move ahead amid concerns about federal and state jurisdiction on the issue of marriage. Forrest wanted the debate to be revisited on the strength of a new legal opinion suggesting that there is no legal impediment to the island state legislating on the issue.

Ms Forrest told the Examiner Newspaper that, given that many MLCs said they opposed the earlier legislation because of constitutional concerns, they had a duty to reconsider in light of the new advice, as well as the fact that more states and countries have been passing same-sex “marriage” legislation.

The ‘no’ vote gained unexpected extra support from Tony Mulder MLC. While Mulder supported the bill on the last occasion but said this time that, "Unless there's a real proposition of the Bill itself being passed, this motion cruelly raises the hopes of people who were crushed by the result just last year."

Calling the result ‘a setback,’ Tasmanian Greens leader, Nick McKim MP, promised to revisit the issue in the next parliament. “The Greens will continue this fight until has been won, and we will re-introduce this legislation in the next term of government,” he said. Tasmanians go to the polls in March 2014.

The votes comes in the wake of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) passing its own ‘marriage equality’ bill a week ago. As LifeSiteNews reported, this law will be challenged in Australia’s High Court by the Federal Government, also on the question of jurisdiction. The ACT government plans to see their law operational before the full bench of the High Court can hear the federal government’s case.

Last week the Federal Government confirmed that it has lodged a writ with the High Court of Australia and is asking that the hearings be expedited to be heard in full by the end of November this year.

Australian Christian Lobby’s Tasmanian Director, Mark Brown, called the Tasmania vote another attempt to ‘pass legislation by fatigue’.

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“This legislation was defeated in the parliament only last year. This debate has become wearisome. It is a low order priority for the majority of Australians and it is time to move on. There is no discrimination in Tasmanian law against same-sex couples – there is no need to redefine marriage.”

Jim Collins, Tasmanian state officer for Family Voice Australia, called the defeat “good news” for the Tasmanian community. 

“Marriage is fundamentally a complementary union of a man and a woman who have the potential to conceive and raise the next generation with both male and female role models.

“The push to redefine marriage fails to recognise the unique contributions that natural marriage offers society.  Let’s strengthen marriage, not redefine it,” said Collins.

On Thursday (31st Oct), the Upper House of the New South Wales Parliament will begin debating their Same Sex Marriage Bill 2013. In July this year their Standing Committee on Social Issues reported its findings on same sex “marriage” laws. It said that the state did have the power to pass such laws but that the result of any challenge by the federal government would be uncertain. This statement has been taken by supporters of same sex “marriage” as a green light. However, that bill is also expected to fail.

Dr. David van Gend, spokesman for Australian Marriage Forum, called this “constitutional larrikinism” and repeated calls for the matter of same-sex “marriage” to be settled, once for all, by a referendum. “I have faith in the Australian people that, faced with a choice between the demands of two men to be called a marriage and the needs of a child to have, where possible, both a mum and a dad, they will vote on behalf of the child,” Dr van Gend concluded.

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