a) Gay Tasmania
McKim vows to re-introduce state same-sex marriage laws
This media release was issued by the TGLRG on 3.11.10
Tasmanian Greens leader, Nick McKim, has vowed to re-introduce state laws which will allow same-sex couples to marry.
Under a loophole identified by constitutional expert, Professor George Williams, Australian states are able to legislate to allow same-sex marriages because the federal government refuses to.
Mr McKim, who is also Australia's first Green Cabinet Minister, made the announcement during a recent live on-line chat about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues (link below).
Based on Prof Williams' advice, Mr McKim has twice before introduced same-sex marriage laws into State Parliament (2005 and 2008) but without support from either major party they were not passed.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, welcomed Mr McKim's commitment.
"Allowing same-sex couples the choice to marry is one of the key social justice issues facing Australia today, and it is appropriate Tasmania takes a lead on this issue given it was the first state to allow civil unions and the first to recognise overseas civil unions and same-sex marriages."
"Given recent polls show 62% of Australians believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and 78% support a conscience vote on the issue, I'm hopeful Nick McKim will be able to persuade members of both major parties to support his state same-sex marriage laws."
Last year the Tasmanian ALP State Conference became the first in Australia to vote in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry, however State Labor Premier David Bartlett has repeatedly brushed off the issue as a matter for the Federal Government.
On October 25th, during his regular live chat as State Minister for Community Development, Mr McKim said,
"Marriage equality is not on the Attorney-Gerneral's agenda, but it's certainly on mine! I will table my Bills again, probably early next year."
A full transcript can be found at: www.linkzone.tas.gov.au/chat/lgbti_chat_-_25_october_2010
For a copy of the Tasmanian Greens' media release on this issue from 2008 go to: www.rodneycroome.id.au/other_more?id=2732_0_2_0_C
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668 or Parliamentary Greens Head of Office, Cath Hughes, on 03 6233 8300.
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