Australian Marriage Equality (AME) and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Australia are co-sponsoring a forum in Hobart on the legalisation of same-sex marriage under state law.

Recent polling showed that 74 percent of Tasmanians believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

Tasmania already recognises overseas same-sex marriages as registered partnerships and organisers hope the forum will answer questions about how reform could move forward on the Apple Isle.

AME campaign director Rodney Croome told the Star Observer the forum was about raising the issue of marriage equality in a way that explored different perspectives, including that of parents, and different paths to reform, including state laws.

“The large attendance at [federal Independent MP] Andrew Wilkie’s same-sex marriage forum in Hobart in April and the University of Tasmania’s forum in Launceston last month shows that Tasmanians are very eager to discuss this issue,” Croome said.

“Our panel includes a legal expert, political leaders, community advocates and parents standing up for the rights of their same-sex attracted children.”

Panellists include Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim, who has been pushing for marriage under state law, with bills before Parliament in 2005 and 2008.

Last year McKim committed to a renewed push for marriage equality in 2011 and it is believed that he will soon re-table his bill.

Other speakers include world champion woodchopper David Foster, who has a lesbian daughter; the mother of a gay man, Els McIntosh; lawyer and Mercury newspaper columnist Greg Barns; transgender woman and activist Martine Delaney; and Croome.

State Denison Greens MP Cassy O’Connor and the Denison Greens branch will host the free event, which will be held at Hobart’s Theatre Royal in the Backspace on Tuesday, September 13, 6.30-8pm.

INFO: RSVP to Mike Cain on 0400 734 798 or mike.cain@bigpond.com

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