“The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute claims that the Tasmanian parliament can pass a law to legalise same-sex marriage. But the Institute forgot to add that by using exactly the same logic, Tasmania can also pass a law to legalise polygamy,” FamilyVoice Tasmania state officer Jim Collins said today.
“The question is not can Tasmania pass such laws, but should we – given that the Commonwealth Solicitor General has advised that any such law would be unconstitutional. It would be inconsistent with the federal Marriage Act and therefore inoperative.
“Moreover, as legal experts have pointed out, why would Tasmanian same-sex couples want to marry under a state law?
“It would not benefit them once they crossed Bass Strait to the mainland, and it may actually disadvantage them here in Tassie, with complex legal problems relating to inheritance and other matters.
“A similar proposal before the ACT Legislative Assembly has been carefully drafted in the hope of avoiding a constitutional challenge – but in doing so, it clearly says that an ACT same-sex marriage would not be the same as marriages covered by the federal Marriage Act. The Family Law Act would not deal with disputes, which would need to be sorted (at considerable cost to local taxpayers) in local courts. A Tasmanian same sex marriage bill would cost us far more than $300,000!
“If a Tasmanian same-sex marriage is different from an opposite-sex marriage, such a bill would not achieve ‘marriage equality’. Neither Rodney Croome nor anyone else would be happy.
“Why bother?” Jim Collins said.
- Marriage and sexuality