NewsTue Jun 6, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Australian Government Will Overrule Gay “Marriage” Law
By Gudrun Schultz
CANBARRA, Australia, June 6, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said his government will overrule new laws passed by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) allowing same-sex unions, reported Reuters.
Current laws in Australia define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, but the ACT bypassed that restriction by giving same-sex couples the same legal rights as married couples but withholding the term “marriage.” Instead, same-sex couples enter into “civil unions.”
Prime Minister Howard said Tuesday that the move was an attempt to undermine the 2004 Federal Marriage Act that formally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
“Our view is very simple. We are not prepared to accept something which is a plain attempt to equate civil unions with marriage,” he told reporters.
The federal government warned in March it would overturn the ACT’s civil union legislation if the capital territory brought it into law.
“There is a special place in Australian society for the institution of marriage, as historically understood, and we do not intend to allow that to be in any way undermined,” the prime minister said at the time.
The ACT was the first territory to introduce same-sex union legislation last March. The federal government has constitutional control over the nation’s two territories and can overturn territory laws.
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Australian PM Howard Says Government Will Overturn Same-Sex Union Law
First Australian Territory to Grant All Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Unions