Liberals' Refusal to Speak as Individuals Thu 30 August 2012 Michelle O'Byrne Leader of Government Business Leader of Government Business in the Lower House Michelle O'Byrne today said it was disappointing that Liberal MPs had chosen not to speak as individuals on Tasmania's same sex marriage Bill. "Today was a historic occasion for marriage equality, and it is a great shame indeed that the only Liberal whose voice will be recorded for posterity was that of Will Hodgman. "The Tasmanian public deserved to hear the views of other Liberal MPs as their elected representatives on the issue of marriage equality. "Mr Hodgman maintains that his MPs were united in their opposition to this Bill - but they clearly did not have the strength of their convictions to stand up and argue against it. "This issue was a clear matter of conscience - we accept that people have different views and should have the opportunity to express it. "On important pieces of legislation that have a huge impact on a person's basic rights, silence is no alternative for informed debate. "The Liberals, regardless of their opinions on this issue, have failed to speak to a historic and important Bill. "Tasmanians will rightly be disappointed Liberal MPs failed to give their conscience a voice on the floor of State Parliament," Ms O'Byrne said.