The federal government has blocked a motion by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young to rule out any challenges to marriage equality bills passed at the state level.

Following the defeat of marriage equality legislation in the federal Parliament, pro-equality activists have shifted their focus to the states.

South Australia is the next state due to vote on the issue, but Hanson-Young argues uncertainty as to the prospect of a federal challenge to state legislation may affect states’ willingness to fight for equality.

“The Greens currently have a bill before the South Australian Parliament and both the premier and the leader of the opposition have indicated that they will be allowing their members a conscience vote,” she said.

“South Australia has lead the way with progressive reforms in the past and the Commonwealth shouldn’t hinder my state from doing so again on the issue of marriage equality.”

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