Tasmania’s upper house of Parliament has voted against the Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2012 on 27 September 2012. Had the bill been passed it would have made Tasmania the first state to allow same-sex marriage.

The doubt over the constitutional validity of the bill appears to have been its undoing, with speakers against the bill speculating that the law may be inoperative because it is inconsistent with the Commonwealth Marriage Act. The general consensus was that a High Court challenge was inevitable, which would be costly and time-consuming. Unfortunately, the answer to whether a state law permitting same-sex marriage would be inoperative or invalid will not be known until such a challenge is brought before the High Court.

Attention has now turned to South Australia where it is expected that a same-sex marriage bill will be introduced to Parliament early next year.

This article provides information that is general in nature and not a substitute for legal advice. Please contact the author if you wish to obtain legal advice for your personal situation.

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