Tasmania has been the scene for some notable developments regarding gay rights issues. The most well known of these was the Toonen vs Australia case. That resulted in the repeal of Australia's last sodomy laws. A good outcome.
Now there's another big legal change brewing in the Apple Isle. And that's the legalization of gay marriage. Zealous advocates of this radical shift seem to believe they've got widespread support, and that once it's law everyone will be okay with it.
The Premier Lara Giddings told the Tasmanian Labor Party conference yesterday she would legislate marriage equality into law by the end of the year.
"We have received legal advice that certainly says that we can take these steps," the Premier said.
"The community wants this change to occur and certainly the Labor Party does."
Maybe the ALP in Tasmania is wholly supportive. But federally it sure as hell ain't. I recall some big time argy-bargy at their last federal conference, with Joe de Bruyn sticking up for breeders and being loudly heckled by scores of sneering hipsters from the party's left-wing. And Julia Gillard herself is well known as one who is yet to be attitudinally reconstructed on this issue.
So if Giddings thinks it's all gonna be smooth sailing on the good ship "Marriage Equality" she's got another thinkola comin'. When asked, many Tasmanians may be giving the impression that they reckon gay marriage is all fine and dandy. That's basically 'cause they're terrified of being labelled homophobic. But deep down they feel great unease, I reckon. They're gonna arc up about it big time!
Frankly I doubt that the proposed changes will be made law in the first place. But if they are, there'll be such a massive backlash that they'll be overturned soon after -- kinda like the Northern Territory euthenasia laws were back in the 1990s.
UPDATE: An article that appeared on Google News minutes ago points to problems already.