South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill has endorsed a gay marriage bill.

At an Adelaide rally to support the legalization of such unions held Saturday on the steps of Parliament House, Weatherill said he would support a bill proposed by the Green Party legalizing gay marriage in the Australian state and allow Labor MPs a conscience vote.

“People should be entitled to express their own identity in any way they wish and the law shouldn't become a barrier to prevent them from doing that,” Weatherill told the crowd. “So, from my perspective, it's a simple question of the dignity of the individual.”

Weatherill's endorsement comes roughly a week after Tasmania Premier Lara Giddings told a ruling state Labor Party conference that her state “will be leading the way for the rest of Australia to follow” on marriage equality.

Giddings touted the economic benefits of gay nuptials: “There is strong evidence that legislation for same-sex marriage will provide a significant economic boost and create jobs for Tasmanians.”

Australia's Marriage Act, approved nearly 8 years ago, federally defines marriage as a heterosexual union, leaving some to wonder whether states have the power to legalize gay marriage.

Giddings said the government has received legal advice that it can enact such legislation because the marriages of gay and lesbian couples are currently not regulated by federal law.

The island state of Tasmania only decriminalized gay sex in 1997, the last Australian state to do so.