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Tasmanian Premier says marriage equality “inevitable”

Speaking on Radio National Breakfast, Tasmanian Premier, Lara Giddings has said marriage equality is inevitable. Giddings compared the ban on same-sex marriages to historical sanctions against inter-faith marriages and said the advocacy of the families of same-sex partners is a key to change. A transcript is included below.

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Political editor, Alison Carabine: Another issue that is bubbling along is same-sex marriage. The Tasmanian Parliament recently became the first in Australia to support equal marriage rights. It passed a motion to that effect. Do you believe that same-sex marriage is inevitable in this country?

Tasmanian Premier, Lara Giddings: I believe it is inevitable that at some point in time Australians will be able to marry no matter what their sexuality. It is just a fundamental right. It wasn’t that long ago where people of different religions were not allowed to marry, or certainly frowned upon if a Protestant married a Catholic. So I believe there will be a shift in the community. I believe that shift is happening across Australia and there is a momentum that is growing. I also understand there’s a number of people who are not comfortable with it. But it’s interesting now to hear parents standing up. A famous Tasmanian, David Foster, an axeman, has stood up and said my daughter is a lesbian and I want to be able to walk her down the aisle and I don’t know why she should be denied her father walking her down the aisle as I have her sister and her brother.

Alison Carabine: The debate is likely to come to a head at the ALP national Conference in December. If it’s defeated though, a motion to legalise same-sex marriage, if it’s defeated on the floor of the conference, what would that say about the Labor Party and whether it is in step with broader public opinion?

Lara Giddings: Firstly, I hope there is a conscience vote and I believe there is some debate around that. And secondly it doesn’t mean we give up. It means the debate continues on and eventually I believe the momentum is for change. It may not happen immediately but as the momentum continues to grow political parties do end up responding.