According to ABC News (that’s the Australian Broadcasting Co.), Tasmania’s lower house voted to recognize same-sex marriages and civil unions performed elsewhere.

All members of the House of Assembly, with the exception of three Liberals, voted for the measure.

The Liberals who voted against the bill said it was just a way to get same-sex marriage approved. (Duh.)

Those who voted for it said it was nothing of the kind. It was simply a way to “remove discrimination for same-sex couples.” (Huh?)

One of the Liberals who voted against the bill said it wasn’t about addressing discrimination but a “a political gesture toward marriage.” He proposed a civil union bill rather than recognizing marriage, according to the Sydney Star Observer.

To become law, the bill must pass Tasmania’s Legislative Council, which is comprised of one Liberal, three Labor members and 11 independents. A vote is expected in a month.

Tasmania is an Australian state that is a heart-shaped island 150 miles south of the country’s mainland. It is generally considered extremely conservative.

— David Taffet