An Australian senator has cited Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana as examples of his belief that not all gay men want to marry.

The business partners behind the Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana were once romantically involved.

According to the Australian Financial Review, federal Senator Eric Abetz made his comments during a closed meeting of lawmakers last week considering whether coalition MPs would be allowed a free vote on an upcoming gay marriage bill. The ruling conservative coalition decided to bind its lawmakers to the government's official stance against marriage equality.

(Related: Gay marriage bill introduced in Australia.)

“Lots of homosexuals don't want to get married,” Abetz is quoted as saying by an unnamed source. “Dolce and Gabbana never got married.”

Dolce and Gabbana created controversy earlier this year when they criticized gay adoptions and called children born through IVF “synthetic” in an interview with Italy's Panorama.

“The only family is the traditional one,” they told the magazine.