tasmania 226x300 Marriage Equality One Step Closer to Reality in TasmaniaEarly this morning, lawmakers in the Australian state of Tasmania passed a marriage equality bill that would grant same-sex couples the same freedom to marry that their opposite-sex counterparts currently enjoy.

The bill, which apparently sailed through the House of Assembly (the state parliament’s lower house), now only has to be approved by the Legislative Council for it to become law. A coalition of MPs from the Labor and Greens parties passed the bill despite Liberal opposition.

Lara Giddings, premier of the Labor Party, told the Australian that legislators in the 21st century are morally obligated to fight anti-LGBT discrimination:

“I do not believe that the personal moral disapproval that some individuals may feel towards same-sex marriage is a valid reason to allow discrimination to continue in the 21st century. In the 21st century, moral disapproval is no reason to deny or curtail rights and freedoms. The denial of marriage to lesbian and gay couples and their families is discrimination that must be changed. . .

“At the core of this debate is the belief that we are all equal before the law, and where the law prejudices one person over another change is required.”

The bill faces an uncertain future in the upper house — 13 of the chamber’s 15 members are independent, and several have not taken a public position on the bill.