A motion to reintroduce last year’s same-sex marriage bill in Tasmania’s upper house was this week defeated eight votes to six. During a long day of speeches, those supporting the motion tried in vain to convince those who had opposed the bill last year that new information presented was reason enough to bring back the bill for debate.
Much of the argument centred on legal opinions. Preeminent constitutional lawyer Bret Walker SC had given his legal opinion that Tasmania’s same-sex marriage legislation was constitutional and could withstand an inevitable High Court challenge. This advice was backed by a Law Reform Institute Paper. ACL had provided a counter opinion from highly credentialed lawyers/professors which helped many MLC’s to conclude that opinion was just as divided now as it was in 2012, some even using the term “lawyer shopping” to describe events since last year.
Sadly, as was the case in the previous debate, there were moments when the passion on the part of those supporting the motion crossed a line into what could be best described as manipulation for those unwilling to show “leadership” and support the motion. Such subtle pressure is also being applied to the general public via the media. This was clearly illustrated outside parliament immediately after the debate when a reporter from a well known national media outlet was uninterested in getting any opinion from anyone other than the gay lobby.
As was the case last year, it is likely that MLC’s who rejected the motion will be the targets of abuse and therefore will need our prayers and encouragement. Please send them a short letter of thanks (Note: although Legislative Council President Jim Wilkinson did not vote, he made it clear that he would not support such a motion should he have the casting vote).
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We are grateful to God that attempts to introduce euthanasia and same-sex “marriage” legislation this month have been thwarted. Our attention is now focused on the issue of abortion with debate on a bill to decriminalise abortion in Tasmania likely mid November. Please keep Tasmania in your prayers.
Mark Brown, Tasmanian Director
PO Box 89
Riverside TAS 7250
0408 850 629