Today there has been some discussion on the possibility of Tasmania going it alone and legalising gay marriage – granting marriage equality for same sex relationships.

Full details are below. I’m not sure of the legality of Tasmania doing it alone without the approval of the Federal Government but the idea sounds good in principle.

This story from The Mercury.

TASMANIA should go it alone with legislation for gay marriage and reap an estimated $100 million in economic benefits, advocates say.

A study released yesterday by Australian Marriage Equality said Tasmania could gain substantial economic benefits if it was the first state to pass same-sex marriage laws.

Visiting American professor Lee Badgett, who conducted the study, said she estimated several hundred local couples and about 15,000 interstate couples would marry in Tasmania if such laws were passed.

“Weddings are a big day in the lives of people and they end up spending quite a bit of money when they take on the responsibility of planning that day,” Professor Badgett said.

“If Tasmania were the first and only state to allow same-sex couples to marry, we would expect hundreds of couples coming here to Tasmania to spend money on their weddings.

“We know many couples would be willing to come here, in fact they would be eager to come here if it was the only place they could do so.

“They would come here and spend money on flowers, on restaurant meals . . . spending as much as, in our estimates, $6000 per wedding.”

Greens Leader Nick McKim said legalising same-sex marriage was a “no brainer” for Tasmania.

“This is a massive economic boost targeted at small business without it costing the budget a red cent,” he said.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group campaign co-ordinator Rodney Croome said he hoped Tasmania would go it alone on gay marriage.

“It’s not the primary argument … but when there’s a clear economic benefit we need to make that case,” he said.

A Hobart couple says legalising same-sex marriage in Tasmania would help gay couples feel more included in society and see them flock here.

Louise Wood and her partner of three years, Christine Hinsley-Wood, say they talk about tying the knot every day.

They formalised their union through a state civil partnership known as a Deed of Relationship 18 months ago.

“I asked Christine to marry me as the most natural thing in the world to do and, on a daily basis, I refer to her as my wife because that’s what we are to each other, but I know we do not have a marriage certificate,” Louise Wood said.

What do you think of the proposal? Do you think Tasmania should legalise same sex marriage and give marriage equality to everyone and reap the economic benefits? Post your comments below.

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