New report says Tasmania can pass same-sex marriage laws
The Tasmanian Law Reform Report, issued by the Law Reform Institute this morning, reaffirms that the state of Tasmania has the constitutional power to pass same-sex marriage law.
The report concludes with a call to the State Upper House to revisit the Tasmanian Same-Sex Marriage Bill (drafted in 2012), as any costs associated with a High Court challenge would be minimal.
Convener of Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality, Andrew Badcock, says the results of the report are very positive for state governments wishing to pass same-sex marriage legislation.
"It's clear from the report that states can legislate for same-sex marriage and that any High Court challenge is not as risky or costly as opponents of marriage equality have claimed," Badcock said.
The findings of the report indicate that the maximum cost for the Tasmanian Government, if a challenge is lost, would only be $300,000, or 60 cents per Tasmanian tax-payer.
However, according to the report, the chances of a loss appear slimmer than originally thought.
In Australia, state governments have traditionally held the power of marriage since the 1960s. It was only with later attempts at reunification by the Commonwealth that the Federal Marriage Act was created.
The recent success by the ACT in passing their Same-Sex Marriage Bill, too, indicates that further strides can be made towards achieving marriage equality in Australia by state legislation.
Australian Marriage Equality Deputy Director Ivan Hinton said the Tasmanian Law Reform Report is a big step forward.
“This report will give state and territory governments across the country the confidence that they can progress with same-sex marriage,” Hinton said.
Hinton called on the Federal government to respect state and territory rights.
“We call on the Federal Government to respect the rights of the States and Territories to progress with a reform that is very important for the equality of many of their citizens.”
The full report can be accessed at http://bit.ly/GM8tBG.