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Wednesday 08 October 2008


Proclamations of the Red Queen

25th June 2008

Same Sex Marriage in Tasmania: Part Two

Posted by: Craig Young

Courtesy of the GayTas website, I’ve now obtained a copy of the legal opinion that Tasmania may be able to legislate for same-sex marriage on its own- that is, if the ALP state government decides to let the Tasmanian Greens bill on the subject through the legislative process.

The proposed bill provides a procedure whereby two women or two men, both legal adults (18), can enter into civil marriage, and establishes procedures for authorised celebrants and registration rather like civil unions and registered partnerships already do in New Zealand, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.  Make no mistake, this is a civil marriage ceremony- after all, would you really want a badly coiffed, polyester wearing fundamentalist pastor dragging his knuckles on the ground and breaking out into bouts of happy clapping? Me neither.

Anyway, doesn’t Commonwealth law already include discriminatory heterosexist provisions against same-sex marriage? Ah, but do those provisions only apply to those overseas, and could there neccessarily be a situation where state laws could retain their autonomy while federal law is applicable to other areas? Therein lies the genius of Professor George Williams opinion on the subject.

The Tasmanian Greens are to be congratulated for their courage in forcing this issue, and it will be intriguing to see just how far it goes. I imagine that proponents of same-sex marriage proper here will be watching with keen interest.

Essential Reading:

Tasmanian Greens/Professor Williams: Advice Re Proposed Same Sex Marriage Act: http://www.tas.greens.org.au/publications/other/Same-Sex_Marriage_Advice.pdf

Tags: Politics · Religion

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