Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
said Thursday that the Australian government will file a legal
challenge against a proposed gay marriage law.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
last month introduced a bill which seeks to legalize marriage for gay
and lesbian couples in the territory, which includes Canberra, the
Abbott, whose conservative
Liberal-National coalition swept into power on September 7 on a
pledge to lower taxes, told reporters that the federal government
would mount a High Court challenge.
“It is pretty clear under our
constitution that it is the Commonwealth that has responsibility for
the rules regarding marriage,” Abbott is quoted as telling
reporters by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “We
think it's important that there be a uniform approach to marriage
throughout the Commonwealth and that's what we are going to do our
best to ensure.”
The bill is expected to pass this month
and gay couples in the territory could marry as early as December,
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher told ABC.
The federal government can also
override laws approved in Australia's smallest self-governing