A marriage equality bill that had been approved by the lower house of parliament in the Australian state of Tasmania was defeated in its upper house, the Legislative Council, yesterday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the bill failed after an eighth member of the 15-member body declared their vote against the measure.

However, proponents of the bill were very encouraged by the progress they’d made and how far the bill had come:

Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Rodney Croome said lower houser approval and some backing in the council were great achievements, given that Tasmania was last to decriminalise homosexuality.

“If opponents of this bill think they have put the debate to bed they are wrong,” Mr Croome said.

Mike Gaffney, an MP who was backing the bill, also noted the bill’s national significance: “…the Australian community is alive to the issue of marriage equality.”