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Tasmania: equal marriage bill passes in first stage of parliament

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  1. Pavlos Prince of Greece 30 Aug 2012, 11:34pm

    Yes, Federal Parliament will fail deliver it. Got over it, Alex. And go forwards, Tasmania, South Australia and Canberra, even Northern Territory too! And after elections 2014 and 2015 – possibly Victoria and New South Wales maybe also. What rest? Just Queensland ans West Australia? Well, not big deal.

    1. Because even if Tasmania etc bring in equal marriage it won’t be recognised elsewhere as marriage in the rest of Australia and at fed level the best you can expect is to get your marriage recognised as de facto status. Pressure has to always be put on at the fed level and Alex go for it.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Aug 2012, 11:58pm

    A huge step forward. Meanwhile, we languish in the UK, no first draft of a bill, bureaucratic foot dragging as usual, an unnecessary consultation and religious bigots running amok to stop it and hateful, despicable rhetoric coming from the roman cult. I despair of our system. Tasmania, New Zealand, France, less than a few months preparation and a bill already underway. Instead, two delays with our useless consultation, no explanation as to the delay because the government doesn’t think it’s a priority. Absolutely disgraceful and totally unacceptable. Well done, Tasmania, New Zealand and France. You’ve put us beyond shame.

    1. True.

      However, although we may be going slowly we’re also going steadily.

      Getting there is all that really counts.

      1. I thought the only definite date for SS marriage in the UK was that it woud be done by 2015? Doesn’t this simply correspond to when the UK had to hold the next election. Robert is right. Other countries can get around to vote on this within months of making a decision on it. Cameron only last yr promoted SS marriage, he’s got a huge majority in favour of it. The change in the law is simple. Marriage isn’t a new “institution”. The laws around it already exist. Gays already have the same rights as married couples. There is alreay religious opt outs and freedom in all kinds of things. What is the big deal? What is the big change in the law? It looks mouse like to wait until the right trash the idea when you already have a clear majoirty to make it happen quickly.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 31 Aug 2012, 12:14pm

          john, that huge majority Cameron allegedly has must also include enough Tories, many of whom are opposed to it. We still don’t know just how many of them are going to vote YES when it comes to a vote. Not all of Labour will vote yes either, the majority will but some won’t. Then we have those first second and third reading hurdles to get over. Assuming they pass muster, the HoL could be the stumbling block, infested with right wing Tories and of course 26 Anglican clerics.

    2. New Aussie 31 Aug 2012, 2:55pm

      This is only the first reading, six months of committee stage and then the upper house. Lots of chances for it to be derailed by the federal government particularly if, as expected the vile homophobic Abbott is elected. Anyone ith any doubts what his coalition are like only has to look at Queensland where they have been repealing gay legislation and winding the clock back. Australian equal marriage campaigners often invoke Britain and the government of Scotland as examples we wish our own governments would follow.

  3. What is the next stage of the process? When will marriage equality become law in Tasmania? This is great news, coming from Tasmania and New Zealand recently, only thing now is to keep up the momentum and put more pressure on the federal government to grow some balls. >.<"

  4. Brilliant!!!

  5. That’s so gay, totally brilliant!

  6. Tasmania is a remarkably wonderful place. My partner and I go there each year for holidays and always have a lovely relaxing time – very friendly people!
    Interesting to see that the Liberal Party have kept up their usual record. They have NEVER put forward any pro
    -gay bill in Australia and have often (as here ) voted en masse against them.

  7. Well done, Van Diemen’s Land! You and New Zealand will show this appalling country, the UK, the way to get on with things.

    I recommend to everyone Robert Hughes’s splendid, extraordinary, and very important “The Fatal Shore”, a rigorously researched account of how the Tory toffs of Britain used to simply get rid of any progressive individual by sentencing them to at least 7 years “transportation” to Australia or Tasmania.

    The UK is still beset by this backward Tory class of person who wants no change, no progress, no development.

  8. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 31 Aug 2012, 3:42pm

    Way to go Tasmania, lower house passes SSM bill by a vote of 13 to 11 (all 5 Green members and 8 Labor members voting “yes” and 1 Labor member and 10 Liberal members voting “no” with 1 Labor member missing the vote)!

    The speaker voted against the bill even though he is a member of the Labor party. I thought that speakers do not vote on motions or bills – unless there is a tie vote and clearly there was not a tie vote.

    Now to the upper house where the state same sex marriage bill 2012 faces uncertainty because the Legislative Council is controlled by 13 Conservative Independent members, 1 Labor member and 1 Liberal member (15 members total). It just needs at least 8 members to pass) – Lets hope the SSM bill passes. The surrogacy bill passed both houses, so I hope this bill passes as well!

  9. This is not, alas, a marriage equality bill. It is only a same-sex marriage bill. Intersex people – the I in LGBTI – are not included in this bill. Intersex people are 1.7% to 4% of the human population and currently have no right to marry anyone of any sex in Australia. This bill leaves us without the right to marry still. What kind of an equality bill is that?

    1. ae, forgive me, but I don’t understand. Does your birth certificate state that you are intersex? Surely, if your birth certificate states that you are a male or that you are a female, and if you yourself pass as one or the other, then equality legislation will allow you to marry a person who is taken for a male or for a female, in which case marriage equality, of the kind being pressed for at the moment, will advantage you just as it will advantage gay and lesbian people?

      1. Eddy, Family Court case law has dissolved marriages involving intersex people and will continue to have that effect if law reforms do not specifically include intersex people. This Tasmanian law does not specifically include intersex people. Hoping that its wording will make it so will not make it so. It is a same-sex marriage bill only – for L, G and some B people. I and apparently many T people will not benefit by it.

        What is on one’s birth certificate – male, female or indeterminate – is of no use in a court of law, only what one is found to be when one is intersex.

        The amendment to the Marriage Act 1961 outlawed marriage for intersex Australians. This same-sex marriage bill does not grant the right to marry to any intersex Tasmanian. Intersex Tasmanians remain without the right to marry as a result of it.

        1. Thank you for your reply. I take the point that you make that courts may dissolve or annul a marriage where a person has turned out to be “intersex”. However, I cannot see why you cannot propose to another person that you marry (after having obviously fully revealed your sexual identity to that person) and then proceed to get married as people who are perceived by the registrar as either of opposite sexes or as of the same sex.

          Are you saying that you are forced to produce paperwork to the registrar and that that paperwork states that you are “Intersex” and that the registrar therefore advises you that he cannot marry you to anyone?

          1. Under the law as it stands any intersex person marrying another person is breaking the law and committing an illegal act.

            Intersex people married before the law was amended by the Howard government are now in illegal marriages that can forcibly dissolved.

            Some intersex people only discover they are intersex after they have been married. Their marriage then becomes illegal.

            Persuading someone to marry you does not make your marriage legal.

            The Tasmanian bill most certainly does not include intersex people but excludes them within its very words as an intersex person marrying a non-intersex person or two intersex people marrying is not a same sex marriage.

            It is by its very nature an illegal marriage under Family Court case law.

          2. Thank you for your response, but I am still confused. I think my confusion lies in the definition of “intersex”.

            You say: “Some intersex people only discover they are intersex after they have been married”. Could you explain this, please. I have been assuming that by “intersex” you have been referring to a distinct physical condition – which, obviously, one would be fully aware of before marriage. Now that you have said that people may only discover they are “intersex” after they have married, it occurs to me that by “intersex” you are referring to sexual identity that is not dependent upon physical characteristics, i.e. the right of an individual to identify, mentally, however they choose.

            If that is, indeed, your definition of “intersex”, I would be interested to know how you distinguish it from bisexuality.

  10. Dennis Velco 1 Sep 2012, 6:50pm

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated.

    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups/LGBT-Gay-GLBT-Professional-Network-63687/about

    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 15,000+ of your soon to be great connections on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries.

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