Premier Will Hodgman was one of 15 state MPs to vote in favour of the motion introduced by the Tasmanian Greens and has now become the only Liberal Premier to back marriage equality in parliament.
[showads ad=MREC]On Wednesday, a Greens motion was passed 15 votes to 9 with the support of the Premier and almost half of his Liberal colleagues.
“What harm can it possibly do, it still baffles me that some people of faith still see this as a threat,” Hodgman told ABC News.
“We live in a world that contains non-traditional relationships, de facto, single-parent, significant relationships, same-sex relationships.
“I don’t believe … same-sex marriage in 2015 will affect the sanctity of the institution of marriage.
“I intend to vote in support at the national plebiscite in support of same-sex marriage.”
Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor moved the motion to support marriage equality but was amended by the Premier to support the national plebiscite on the issue.
O’Connor said in parliament: “Love is just love, it reaches beyond every law, every judgment”.
Australian Marriage Equality national director and 2015 Tasmanian of the Year Rodney Croome welcomed the Liberal Party amendment to the motion affirming a free and respectful debate on marriage equality.
“I am very proud of the Tasmanian Parliament for sending a strong message to Canberra that it’s time for marriage equality and a strong message to the nation that Tasmania is an inclusive society,” he said.
“I pay tribute to all those Tasmanians from all walks of life – couples, parents, business people, farmers, sports people and people of faith – who have patiently spoken out in support of marriage equality. Parliament’s support for marriage equality is your victory and your vindication.
“Everyone should feel free to express their views on marriage equality in a way which respects the convictions and feelings of others.”
The news in Tasmania follows similar developments in WA and NSW in recent months, in which both states adopted motions calling on the Federal Government to hold a free vote on marriage equality rather than a plebiscite.[showads ad=FOOT]