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Valentine’s gift for ‘no’ voters
Tasmanian Upper House members who voted against marriage equality last year received a Valentine’s Day rose last week, left for them by couples in support of marriage equality. Four couples – three same-sex and opposite-sex – left the roses to highlight their desire to see laws passed allowing same-sex couples to marry.
“The roses are a reminder to those Upper House members who voted against marriage equality that the love in same and opposite-sex relationships is equal and should be treated equally by the law,” event organiser Helen Richardson said.
“Valentine’s Day is when we show how important love is in our lives, and today we want to send a message to the Upper House that they have an obligation to end legal discrimination against gay and lesbian Tasmanians because of who they love.”
Richardson was there with her fellow I Do Ladies, a group of heterosexual women from Hobart who organised last year’s marriage equality BBQ in Sandy Bay. They cut a special Valentine’s Day cake together with the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group’s Rodney Croome.
The eight partners delivered eight roses to the Tasmanian Parliament, each individually addressed to one of the eight Upper House members who voted against marriage equality.
In September last year, legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry was passed by the Tasmanian Lower House but was defeated by two votes in the Upper House, which is made up mostly of independents.
State Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim have vowed to re-introduce the legislation in the first half of this year.
Marriage equality is expected to figure in the elections due in three Upper House seats in May.
Legislative Council President Sue Smith, who opposes marriage equality, will not be recontesting her seat of Montgomery. Central Coast Council deputy mayor Cheryl Fuller and local marriage celebrant Leonie Hiscutt will be campaigning for Smith’s seat.
While Fuller supports marriage equality, Hiscutt will be standing for the Tasmanian Liberal Party which is known to collectively oppose the issue.
Independent Jim Wilkinson and Liberal Vanessa Goodwin are also up for re-election and both opposed same-sex marriage last year.