5 Aug 2012

Tasmanian premier pledges same-sex marriage law

1:30 pm on 5 August 2012

Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings has announced her government will legislate to allow same-sex marriage if Australia as a whole fails to do so.

Speaking at the Tasmanian Labor Party's annual conference in Hobart, Ms Giddings said the time has come for discrimination against gay couples to be removed and she has legal advice that says Tasmania can go it alone.

"We will be supporting legislation that will allow for marriage for gay couples here in Tasmania," she said.

"We will be removing that discrimination. We will be leading the way for the rest of Australia to follow."

Ms Giddings said legislation could be passed before the end of the year, the ABC reports.

Members of the party's right-wing faction remained seated as the dominant left-wing members gave a standing ovation in support of the announcement.

Senator Helen Polley, who is from the right, said there should not be any celebrations.

"I truly believe that the majority of Tasmanians are opposed to same-sex marriage," she said.