Tasmania’s lower house has passed a motion of support for same-sex marriage with senior Liberal government MPs among those voting in favour, reported The Guardian.
On Wednesday, Premier Will Hodgman joined a majority to back the motion which was put by the Tasmanian Greens, calling for in-principle support for marriage equality.
While noting a High Court ruling that states can’t individually legislate for same-sex marriage, Mr. Hodgman said it had consistently been the case that Tasmanian Liberal members have a conscious vote on the matter.
Seven of the government’s 15 House of Assembly MPs voted in support of the motion, along with five of the seven Labor MPs and all three Greens.
“This vote will reassure Tasmanian LGBTI couples that their parliament regards their love for each other as equal and supports their right to express their love through marriage if they choose,” Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said.
Earlier this month, Julie Bishop said she had “absolutely no concerns” about same-sex marriage and backed Australians having their say on the issue through a plebiscite, says SMH.
In some of her first public comments on the matter, the foreign affairs minister told Channel Ten’s The Project she supported the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry and backed holding a plebiscite.
“I have absolutely no concerns about it myself, but I know there a lot of people who are deeply concerned about the issue,” Bishop said.
She said she supported Australians having their say on “such a fundamental issue” through a plebiscite.
It was an issue that “goes to the very composition of our community, the way we feel about each other, how we treat each other”, she said.
“I think the Australian people should have their say.”
Rodney Croome, the national director of Australian Marriage Equality, said Bishop’s comments would be influential in the Liberal party, the ABC reported.
“I think her support for marriage equality will be quite significant,” Croome said.
“It will mean other members of the Liberal party will be more likely to vote in favour, and I think if it’s put to the people, then we’ll see more Australians in support of the reform, because of the support of Ms. Bishop.”