The Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) two previous attempts to introduce civil unions failed because former Prime Minister John Howard's government used its power to deny them.
Recently-elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he won't do the same, leaving it to the individual regions to determine the matter. Said Rudd: "On these matters, state and territories are answerable to their own jurisdictions."
The Age reports: "This is despite Labor telling the Christian lobby before the election it 'did not support legislation to recognise same-sex marriage or civil unions'. Labor's federal platform is to support a nationally consistent system of relationship registers. Registers are less controversial than civil unions because they don't involve a ceremony, which Christian groups view as being too close to a wedding. Relationship registers are already in use in Tasmania and are being introduced in Victoria."
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