Tasmania’s first steps

 Well done Tasmania!

For those of you yet to find out, Tasmania’s Lower House passed a Marriage Equality bill.  This is groundbreaking not only for Tasmania, but nationally, as Tasmania is the first parliament to even debate and vote on a marriage equality bill, let alone pass it!

The pipe organs aren’t blasting out “Here comes the bride” in stereo quite yet though…  There’s this thing called the Upper House, the Legislative Council, or *gasp* the House of Review (Queensland, take note).  The Upper house is a second house which can require amendments, etc etc.  In Tasmania, the Legislative Councillors are primarily independents.  So far there are still five of the fifteen who haven’t indicated their support or lack thereof for the bill.  For the bill to succeed, at least three of those 5 need to vote in the affirmative.

Dear Tasmanians,  tell your legislative councillors how you feel.  Get in touch, write letters, and don’t forget to write letters to the editor in support – your politicians read those too.

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eThankfulness for 19 August 2012

Today’s eThankfulness revolves around my holidays, unsurprisingly!
I am thankful for:
My fantastic hosts. You have been so very generous and I appreciate you more than you could know.
The amazing people I have met and/or caught up with so far.
The appointment-book for the coming week is looking fantastic also!
Variable weather! Qld is nice and all, but the weather is usually the same as the previous day. In Tassie you don’t have that reliability from hour to hour, and I love it!
Dad’s birthday party! Went off very well!
The people who helped cater dad’s birthday party! You took a huge load of stress from mum and me!
My parents! For lending me a car to gallivant around the state in!

I stopped at my old church today, Pilgrim Uniting in Launceston; I am further thankful for:
Pilgrim’s youth group – eloquent and wonderful as evidenced by today’s service and the “As I See It” in the newsletter… well done!
The other amazing people there. It was fantastic to see them all and catch up with them, however briefly.
The building itself is still beautiful, still magnificent. It is, and always will be, a place where I feel connected to the rest of the universe.
The work Pilgrim does – we heard today about pilgrim’s Refugee Account and how this no-interest-loan scheme has helped reunite multiple families torn apart by war, including a man in tasmania and his daughter in a Ugandan refugee camp… they hadn’t seen each other for 9 years… they also run a low-cost cafe, childcare, and much much more. Launceston without Pilgrim wouldn’t be Launceston.
Political activism – various members of pilgrim are regular protester for human rights and environmental protection….

I am thankful that I can look at my past and see involvement in such a fantastic group of people!

Why I’ve been slack…

Well, I debated make a statement that my blog was going to be on hiatus while I trekked across the country to Tasmania for a 3 week holiday.  I decided against it, figuring that I could maintain the blog as easily from Tasmania as QLD.  Turns out, I can’t! I really haven’t spent much time looking at the interstate news, and QLD news is almost invisible outside the state… I aim to produce an eThankfulness on Sunday, but probably won’t post again after that until I return to QLD on the 27th, provided nothing absolutely massive happens.

I recommend signing this petition by Baptist Minister Rev Carolyn Francis requesting a meeting between the PM and Christians whose views do not match those of the ACL.

I was in Tasmania for the fantastic announcement that Tasmanian Labor would push forward on marriage equality at a state level, and recently had a chance to meet with the Tasmanian Attorney General, Brian Wightman.  Our meeting was off the record as my current hosts are related to him, but he was lovely, charming and fantastically in support of the proposal.  Tasmanian Labor are to be praised for once again leading the way on LGBTI law reform.  I am proud of how far Tasmania has come! From being the last state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1997, to being the first to have legal recognition of Queer relationships in 2004 (Four years before commonwealth legislation around same-sex de facto couples), to now being ready to try for Marriage Equality in 2012.

Letters to the editor in Tasmania’s major paper, The Examiner, have been fantastic too.  For every letter I see condemning the State Government, I seem to see two pro-equality replies.  Here is a state that has gone on a journey of discovery together and predominantly arrived at the conclusion that discrimination is wrong.  

The cynic in me also says that they’ve realised that the Pink Bridal market in Australia is potentially massive… and being the first state to make gay marriage possible will bring in a much-needed capital injection to the state’s economy.

The pragmatist in me says that the motivations are of little importance since the end result is the same and is fantastic!

Congratulations Tasmania.  Congratulations Lara Giddings. Congratulations Brian Wightman.  Congratulations Tasmanian Labor.  On the front of human rights and equality, you are doing a fantastic job!