.- Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard has said he will oppose any new laws legalizing same-sex unions.
Prime Minister Howard said he did not intend to allow the institution of marriage "to be in any way undermined," saying that there is "a special place” in Australia for marriage “as historically understood,” reported the BBC.
Authorities in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) introduced a bill on same-sex civil unions last week. If the legislation is passed, it will be the first such law in Australia, but the federal government can overturn it.
Attorney General Philip Ruddock added that if is “quite inappropriate” if the ACT authorities “seek to portray civil unions as a marriage."
"It suggests to people who might be interested in civil union that what they have is a marriage, when in fact it is not," he stated.
Australian law formally defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.