Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Australia’s new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has confirmed that she supports her predecessor’s stance against same-sex marriage.

“We believe the Marriage Act is appropriate in its current form, that it’s recognising that marriage is between a man and a woman, but we have as a government taken steps to equalise treatment for gay couples in things that government does like social security benefits and the like,” Gillard said in an interview with Austereo radio on Tuesday.

This position, which Gillard said was also personal, affirms her Labour Party’s take on the matter as well as that of Kevin Rudd, whom she recently replaced as Prime Minister.

Green Party leader Bob Brown commented: “Julia Gillard is wrong on that issue. She is last century. She needs to catch up.”

While Australia is often seen as a gay-friendly nation, since 2004, the country’s Marriage Act has defined marriage as “the union of a man and a woman”. Australian law also bars the recognition of same-sex marriages entered into outside the country.

The states of Tasmania and Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory allow a form of civil union, which gives gay couples similar rights to those of married couples.

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