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New South Wales Parliament rejects marriage equality bill

Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

New South Wales flagThe upper house of the New South Wales Parliament in Australia narrowly voted down a marriage equality bill by a 21-19 margin today, dashing the hopes of advocates who thought it could pass the chamber.

But Alex Greenwich, a member of parliament from the Independent party and the main sponsor of the legislation, said he was encouraged by how close the vote was.  “There was essentially one vote in it,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald, which has more details on the political intrigue behind the bill’s failure:

Christian Democratic Party MP the Reverend Fred Nile, who campaigned against the legislation, said the outcome was ”a great victory for marriage in the NSW upper house”.

Mr Nile said he believed a decisive factor in the bill’s defeat was Premier Barry O’Farrell’s announcement that he would vote against the bill if it came before the lower house.

Mr O’Farrell revealed his support for same-sex marriage a day after New Zealand’s parliament voted to change its national laws in April.

But in a statement released the night before the bill’s introduction to the upper house last month, Mr O’Farrell said that while he was a supporter of marriage equality, he would not support the NSW legislation.

He argued that “only change enacted by the Federal Parliament can deliver true equality in our marriage laws”.

After Thursday’s vote, Mr Nile revealed he had urged Mr O’Farrell to make the statement.

Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith told the Herald that some MPs voted against the bill because they believe that marriage equality should be death with by the federal government, saying that supporters “feel the tide is turning in their favor” on that front.

New South Wales is Australia’s most populous state, and includes its most populous city, Sydney.

Last month, the Australian Capital Territory (which is similar to Washington, D.C. in that it consists almost entirely of Australia’s capital city of Canberra) approved a marriage equality bill that is currently being challenged in court.


  • 1. MightyAcorn  |  November 14, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Not a g'day for my friends in NSW, but at least the battle is finally on in Oz ( and this is just the beginning.)

    Jason, can you fix the "death" instead of "dealt" in the third paragraph from the end? A little disturbing to read as written.

  • 2. Seth From Maryland  |  November 14, 2013 at 8:17 am

    there were more then 19 supporters of marriage equality , some just voted against because they feel it has to be done at a federal level also there's a good chance sadly the high court is likely strike these because of the so called marriage act

  • 3. Bruno71  |  November 14, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Yeah it seems that more than anything, the belief is there that there is no state-by-state path to marriage equality in Australia. Given that polls have shown strong majorities in favor of equality for awhile now, and that the courts do not feel it's their place to ensure equality, pressure on federal politicians needs to be continued and heightened.

  • 4. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 14, 2013 at 9:14 am

    The anti-gay crowd is sure to celebrate, even though they have no idea where New South Wales is.

  • 5. Hari-ji Baba  |  November 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    The rights of equality and human justice are not about the compilation of opinion or policy. The rights of justice and human equality are not about what might be viewed as right or wrong. The rights of justice and eternal human equality are about the law, and where the mystery of evolution stops!
    i.e. There are facts in the ruling of all politics which do not echo the color of upbringing or the ethics of background but an eternal struggle of ignorance against the enlightenment of knowledge . . .

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