Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has rejected a proposal to allow civil unions between same-sex partners in Australia.

According to a government spokesperson, the decision “reflects the widely held view in the community that marriage is between a man and a woman”.

However, Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Peter Furness argued that most citizens support gay marriage. “Opinion polls consistently show that a majority of Australians support same-sex marriage, making a nonsense of the Government’s stated belief that its policy ‘reflects a widely held view in the community’.”

According to the Sydney Star Observer, the Government did confirm that it still intends to recognise and support same-sex families through its community and social inclusion strategies and implement relationship registers.

“One step towards eliminating discrimination against same-sex couples is for their relationships to be legally recognised,” the response states.

“As part of the Government’s same-sex law reforms, registered relationships will also be recognised in many Commonwealth laws to provide a more consistent approach to the recognition of relationships.”

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