Same-sex marriage for Tasmania faces its final hurdle next week when the bill goes before the state’s Upper House for an unpredictable vote.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby spokesman Rodney Croome has said the outcome is too close to call.

Out of the 15 members, six MPs are in favour but about five members are still undeclared on the matter.

Just two extra votes are needed to get the law passed but Croome said it was unpredictable because most Upper House MPs were independents.

Just two out of the 15 MPs are aligned with the major political parties.

“I think we probably won’t know how this vote is going to go until the vote actually occurs,” Croome told the Star Observer.

“The best that we can say with any accuracy is that it will be close.”

Croome also urged anyone who would like to marry in Tasmania to write to the Upper House members and let them know.

As the Tasmanian vote looms, other state and territory governments will be watching for the result and whether the federal government will challenge it in the High Court.

It was revealed on Wednesday that a working group in NSW Parliament will draft a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in the state with Coalition MPs allowed a conscience vote on the bill.

Last week, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren introduced a marriage equality bill into the Western Australian Parliament.

It is the fourth marriage equality bill introduced into a state parliament, joining South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

The Australian Capital Territory government has considered legalising marriage equality pending the outcome of the Tasmanian debate.

Last week, federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie sought an assurance from Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan that the Tasmanian law would not be challenged.

Swan did not say if the government would challenge the laws.

Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich urged the federal government to make it crystal clear if the law would be challenged.
Tasmania’s Upper House sits next on Tuesday, September 25.


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