The South Australian parliament has passed a motion to officially congratulate New Zealand for passing its same-sex marriage bill earlier this year, ahead of the introduction of its own bill later this week.

The upper house of the South Australian Parliament passed the measure, introduced by Labor MP Gerry Kandelaars, on Wednesday. It passed by just one vote, with support from two members of the Liberal opposition.

The bill carries no legislative force, but that it was intended to send a strong message of solidarity, and comes ahead of the introduction of a bill to legalise equal marriage in the state, in its lower house, on Thursday, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Labor MP Susan Close, will bring the bill to the lower house, with government minister to be given a conscience vote on the issue.

Premier Jay Weatherill has indicated he will vote in favour of the measure.

Harley Schumann, said the bill to legalise equal marriage would allow South Australia to achieve what it had congratulated New Zealand on achieving.

“We look to South Australia leading the way on this important reform should similar legislation continue to fail in the federal parliament,” he said.

Some have commended the upper house for passing the bill on Wednesday, arguing that it showed cross-party support for measures to legalise equal marriage.

Gay rights campaigners in Australia praised New Zealand after it became the 13th country to legalise equal marriage, back in April.

Earlier in June, a Green Party MP in Australia accused the Labor Party of delaying a vote on a private members bill to legalise equal marriage.

Following the first same-sex wedding to take place in France, Australian advocates of equal marriage have now begun to call for the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages.

Despite that many in Australia commended New Zealand for its equal marriage bill, Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said she wouldn’t be dropping her opposition to marriage equality.