Tasmania Marriage Bill Advances
The last Australian state to decriminalize homosexuality may be the first to legalize same-sex marriage.
Tasmania's House of Assembly has passed a bill to allow gay couples to marry. After more than four hours of debate the bill was passed 13 votes to 11. The long-serving Speaker Michael Polley was the only Labor MP to vote against the legislation and was joined by all 10 Liberal MPs. Premier Lara Giddings congratulated the Labor and Greens MPs who spoke in support of the move. "And I too look forward to being able to celebrate engagement parties, weddings, attending receptions," she said. "I think there's a couple of people who are actually thinking of becoming celebrants. We're good talkers, us politicians." Greens leader Nick McKim said it was a historic moment. "The Parliament has just excelled itself," he saidThe bill now goes to the Upper House where it will be considered near the end of September.