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A referendum on gay marriage in Australia looks set to fail as both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbot effectively announced they wouldn't back moves for the change before the next election.

New Zealand made history last week by changing the marriage law so that gay couples could have the equal right to marry.

"The most appropriate way for the Government to consider such an amendment is through a conscience vote in Parliament, since any change to allow same-sex marriage would occur by amending the Marriage Act, not the Constitution," said a spokesperson for Gillard.

However, Gillard faces oppostion from The Law Council of Australia who released a statement saying that they suggest "the government's current policy on same-sex marriage should be revisited, having regard to the full range of Australia's international human rights obligations and the government's commitment to removing all forms of discrimination against the [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] community."

Opposition leader Tony Abbot, head of the Liberal Party of Australia rejected the move for marriage law changes "I think the coming election should be uncomplicated by other matters," saying he thought independent parties were trying to "muddy the waters" by bringing up the question of marriage equality. 


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Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott reject calls for gay marriage referendum in Australia
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