Libs rule out same-sex marriage vote

OPPOSITION Leader Will Hodgman is set to go down in history as one of the last political leaders to support homophobic discrimination, the Tasmanian Greens said yesterday, after he ruled out a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

Mr Hodgman, who believes marriage should remain between a man and a woman, said all 10 Liberal MHAs were opposed to the proposed legislation anyway.

Greens leader Nick McKim said it wasn't too late for Mr Hodgman to change his mind on a conscience vote.

``By defending legal discrimination against same-sex couples, Mr Hodgman is also sending a worrying signal to the community about the place of homosexuals in our society,'' Mr McKim said.

``It will no doubt come as a terrible shock to the majority of conservative voters, who in fact support equal rights for same-sex couples, that Mr Hodgman feels this way,'' Mr McKim said.

Meanwhile, former Liberal Senator Guy Barnett, who is likely to run for the party at the next state election, called on Premier Lara Giddings to release the Solicitor-General's advice on the issue.

``The Premier has said one thing categorically less than 12 months ago, now she's saying the exact opposite. The public have a right to know what's changed.''

Mr Barnett, who is a lawyer, disputed constitutional expert Professor George Williams's advice that the state had the power to legalise gay marriage.

``The reason federal MPs are currently debating legalising same-sex marriage is because marriage is a matter for the Federal Parliament. The constitution says so,'' he said.

Liberal Leader Will Hodgman

Liberal Leader Will Hodgman


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