Tasmania leads Australia’s freedom to marry movement
August 06, 2012
After months of increasing momentum in Australia, the freedom to marry may have gotten a huge push forward this weekend when Lara Giddings, the premier of Tasmania, announced that she supports marriage for same-sex couples. Tasmania, an island state off the southern coast of the continent, would become the first region of Australia to approve the freedom to marry, and if legislation moves forward, it could prompt Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to press the issue throughout the country.
According to Bloomberg Business Week, Giddings announced her stance at a conference on Saturday:
“We will be leading the way for the rest of Australia to follow,” Giddings, 39, told a ruling state Labor Party conference in Hobart on Aug. 4, vowing to make the change this term. “There are nations across the world who have already taken this step, some of whom that you would not believe would have done this in advance of a nation like our own.”“There is strong evidence that legislating for same sex marriage will provide a significant economic boost and create jobs for Tasmanians,” said Giddings, the youngest woman ever elected to an Australian parliament - at age 23 in 1996 - and the first female premier of the state.
Giddings' announcement came just a few days before a new poll commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality found that 64 percent of Australians say they support the freedom to marry for all couples.
Tasmania has led the push for marriage and the LGBT community for years. It was the first state to formally recognize same-sex relationships and the first to recognize overseas same-sex marriages, and Tasmanian Labor and Tasmanian Parliament were the first bodies in the country to take steps to publicly endorse the freedom to marry. It's logical, therefore, that Tasmania would be the first territory to take the leap toward marriage for all couples.
Giddings' announcement this weekend was also followed by the release of a wonderful new video produced by Australian Marriage Equality, showcasing two families united by the love and commitment shared by their respective sons.
"People understand marriage. They know what it means. We're just people who want to get married," one of the sons expresses in the video.
Freedom to Marry applauds Premier Giddings for making a move to protect same-sex couples and their families in Australia, and we are thrilled to see such growth for the freedom to marry around the globe.
You can read more about international progress on the freedom to marry HERE, and watch the new video below: