Campaign group present legal and economic argument for bringing marriage equality to the Australian state of Tasmania.
Campaign group Australian Marriage Equality have launched a website specifically for the state of Tasmania to support efforts to legalize gay marriage there.
On Saturday (4 August)state Premier Lara Giddings said at that she is pushing for Tasmania to become the first state in Australia to allow people of the same gender to marry.
Since that announcement, questions have been raised over whether it will be possible to pass the legislation in the state’s Upper House and whether the federal government will allow one state to have its own marriage laws.
The website, Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality, presents an argument from constitutional experts that says the state is able to enact its own laws on marriage. It quotes George Williams, Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales, who says:
‘When same-sex marriage is debated, many people assume it can only be brought about by the federal Parliament. This belief is misplaced. Same-sex marriage laws can be enacted by the states.’
The group also argue that legalizing gay marriage before the rest of the country will be good for Tasmania’s economy, as couples will travel to the island to get married. They estimate it will bring $100 million (Australian dollars, $106 million, €85 million) to small businesses.