September 28, 2012
By Jacob Combs
A bill to legalize equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians failed yesterday in the Tasmanian Upper House on an 8-6 vote after two days of intense, thorough debate. Lara Giddings, the Tasmian Premier and a proponent of marriage equality, expressed disappointment in the outcome but said that she would keep pushing for equality.
“We will continue this,” Giddings said. “It’s not the end. It’s the beginning.” Greens leader Nick McKim also criticized the vote, saying, “The Council’s chosen fear over love, the Council’s chosen division over unity, and it’s chosen the 19th century over the 21st century.”
In Delaware, on the other end, there are promising signs pointing to the possible success of marriage equality in the state sometime next year. The Delaware News Journal reported yesterday that Pete Schwartzkopf, a Democrat widely expected to become the state’s next Speaker of the House, told the paper that a marriage equality bill has a good chance of coming before the General Assembly in 2013, and that he’d vote for it. Schwartzkopf called marriage equality a “no-brainer,” although he said he has “no idea what the votes are.”
A civil unions bill passed the state legislature in 2011 with only two Republican votes in the legislature. Governor Jack Markell, who supports equal marriage rights, told The Huffington Post he believes the issue will come up for a vote next year, and that if it does, he is open to taking a leadership role in the process like Maryland’s Martin O’Malley and New York’s Andrew Cuomo did when their states were considering marriage equality.
H/t to jpmassar for posting both these items in Quick Hits