by Hilary White
CANBERRA, September 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Australia’s federal parliament has overwhelmingly voted down a bill that proposed to institute “gay marriage” throughout the country. The bill was resoundingly shut down in a vote of 98 to 42, but observers pointed out that the last vote had only 6 in favour.
The movement of public opinion is also towards national legalisation, with a poll last year showing 64 per cent of 270,000 responses in favour of a change. The bill was tabled by Labour MP Stephen Jones who urged activists to “maintain your rage.”
The bill did not receive unanimous support from the homosexual community. Homosexual Senator, Dean Smith voted against it, calling his vote “an honest acknowledgement of the special and unique characteristics of the union described as marriage.”
Activists have shrugged off the defeat of the national bill, however, saying they have higher hopes for legislation at the state level. They are particularly looking towards Tasmania where the lower house passed a state bill at the end of last month. The bill is scheduled to go to a vote in the 15-member upper house next Wednesday. The outcome remains uncertain, however, with 13 members as yet remaining undecided. The bill’s proponents have said that “same-sex marriage” will bring millions into the state in tourist revenue.
Rumblings have been heard from legislators in New South Wales and South Australia. NSW premier Barry O’Farrell promised members a conscience vote, and Jay Weatherill, premier of South Australia, and the ACT government have promised to bring forward bills addressing the issue.