The Victorian Greens say they will continue with plans to move a same-sex marriage bill in the Victorian Parliament, despite candidate Brian Walters not winning the seat of Melbourne at the election.
As part of his election campaign Walters pledged to introduce a private members bill to allow same-sex marriage in the state.
Greens MLC and GLBTI spokeswoman Sue Pennicuik told the Star Observer the party would wait until the Greens federal marriage bill, which has been moved in federal parliament, is voted on before taking action in Victoria.
“If Brian can’t do it, I will,” Pennicuik said. “It’s not a Brian thing, it’s a Greens thing.”
Pennicuik hit back at criticism the Greens didn’t act on introducing legislation in their last four years of office, saying the party only knew of constitutional law expert George Williams’ advice in the last few months.
She said the Victorian Greens would still prefer to wait for a federal outcome before committing legislation in Victoria.
“What we said was, we’ll see what happens with Sarah’s [Hanson-Young] new bill, and if that doesn’t get up we’ll move in the state because we now have that advice that we can do that,” Pennicuik said.
“It’s a preference for us that it’s national not state-by-state, because then you’ve got people who can get married depending on what state they live in, that’s not the preferable position.”
However with a Coalition government — new Premier Ted Baillieu is against same-sex marriage — and a likely conservative Upper House, it’s unlikely any same-sex marriage bill would get support.
Both Tasmania and South Australia have made moves to legislate for same-sex marriage.
Similar action has been taken in NSW Parliament, however a motion made by the NSW Greens has been blocked until after next year’s election in the state.