Australian prime minister Julia Gillard said she favours allowing a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage – although she personally opposes changing the law.
In an opinion piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald and other Australian newspapers, Ms Gillard said politicians “should be free to vote in parliament according to their own values and beliefs”.
However, Ms Gillard quickly came under attack from same-sex marriage advocates, who claim the prime minister is endorsing a vote she knows is destined to fail in order to keep the status quo.
Currently, three Australian states recognise civil unions, which entitle same-sex couples to the same federal benefits as married couples.
Recent polls indicate a majority of Australians favour allowing same-sex marriage.
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