Tasmania is gearing uo for another marriage equality fight. This just in from our friend Rodney Croome at Australian Marriage Equality:
The campaign to win majority support for marriage equality in the Tasmanian Upper House has begun in earnest with flyers delivered to over 40,000 households in the lead up to the May 4th Upper House election.
The May election is crucial to the future of marriage equality in Tasmania, and nationally, because representatives from all three seats voted “no” during last year’s debate on the Same-Sex Marriage Bill which was defeated by only two votes.
Now advocates are hoping they can either pressure sitting members to change their vote, or unseat them in favour of pro-equality candidates.
Rodney Croome, spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, said the scale of the Tasmanian campaign is unprecedented.
“Over the Easter break 60 volunteers will letterbox more than 40,000 homes in three electorates across Hobart and the North West Coast.”
“Our flyers explain why marriage is good for couples, for families and for for Tasmania and urge voters to support candidates who support reform.”
“A majority of Tasmanians support marriage equality and we will be doing all we can to ensure the Upper House represents that majority.”
The campaign will also include canvassing lobbing of voters through social media.
In each seat there is only one candidate against the Same-Sex Marriage Bill with all the rest in favour.
In the Hobart seats of Nelson and Pembroke the sitting members, Jim Wilkinson and Vanessa Goodwin face a field of contenders who all support the Bill, several of them making it one of their key election platforms.
In the North West seat of Montgomery the sitting member, Sue Smith’s, retirement has opened the seat to a wide field of contenders all of whom support marriage equality with the exception of the Liberal candidate, Leonie Hiscutt.
Last year Tasmania became the first state in Australia to pass marriage equality legislation through a House of Parliament with the Same-Sex Marriage Bill passing the Lower House overwhelmingly. The Bill was only narrowly defeated in the Upper House.
On Thursday, Upper House member, Ruth Forrest, took the first step towards having the Bill debated again by re-introducing it to the Upper House agenda.
More information on which candidates support and oppose the Same-Sex Marriage Bill can be found here.