News State Tasmania News Uncertainty for Tasmania’s bid to revive gay marriage laws

Uncertainty for Tasmania’s bid to revive gay marriage laws

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Tasmania’s Liberal Party shows no signs of backing the push to allow same-sex marriage.

The Upper House will revisit the issue next Thursday, when MLCs will decide whether to revive a bill which was voted down last year.

The ACT parliament yesterday became the first jurisdiction in Australia to pass same-sex marriage legislation.

The Commonwealth has indicated it will ask the High Court to expedite a challenge.

Tasmanian Independent MLC Ruth Forrest had wanted to bring on debate in the Upper House last week but delayed the move until next week.

She wanted to give members more time to consider the issue.

Tasmania’s bill was voted down last year, with four MLCs citing constitutional issues.

Liberal MLC Vanessa Goodwin says her view has not changed.

“The Liberal Party’s always maintained that this is a Federal issue and the only way that these matters surrounding the constitutional concerns can be resolved is through a High Court decision,” she said.

“Now that looks like it’s going to occur and that’s a matter we need to leave to the High Court.”

Last month, Tasmania’s Law Reform Institute released a paper examining the legal issues.

The paper said that while the state was able to create its own marriage laws, there was no way to predict the outcome of a legal challenge.

But author Amelia Higgs said the likelihood of a challenge should be a barrier to legislative change.

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