The Battle for Marriage Equality in Tasmania
Will Hodgman, the Tasmanian opposition leader fears marriage equality and equal rights so much that he has forbidden his Liberal MP’s from voting freely with their conscience on the same-sex marriage issue.
The incredibly arrogant and homophobic Mr Hodgman says that even if his MPs were given a conscience vote, they would all vote against the move to offer marriage equality anyway. He says marriage should be between a man and a woman. "The fact is the Tasmanian Liberal Party has the same position now that we did last year, when it was last voted on," he told reporters, "We've got a position, it's stated clearly and it's based on our view that the Commonwealth definition of marriage should apply in Tasmania."
The Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings who announced the planned legislation last weekend, saying a "tipping point" had been reached, described Mr Hodgman's stance as cowardly. She believes he should allow his members to be able to follow their conscience, so his members can explain to voters why they think discrimination against same sex couples should continue.
"If the entire Liberal Party is united against marriage equality, as Mr Hodgman claims, then why not grant a free vote on the issue?"
A sentiment echoed by Greens MP Kim Booth, who does not believe all state Liberal MPs are actually against equality, "I'm sure that Will Hodgman is terrified that he may be shown up by some of his other Liberal colleagues," he said.
Should the Liberals have a free conscience vote on the issue it is almost certain that some of the MP’s will vote in favor and are far more enlightened than their homophobic leader Will Hodgman. Tasmania is no longer the backwards looking state it once was perceived to be and it is highly probable to become the first Australian state to grant marriage equality.
Lara Giddings says she is hopeful the legislation will get through the Upper House, however readily admits the numbers, on either side, are not predictable.