(Melbourne, Australia) A private members bill
that would allow gay and lesbian couples to have civil partnerships in Victoria
state will likely never see the light of day after the government shunned the
The legislation was proposed last week by Andrew
Olexander, a member of the state legislature's upper house. (story)
After days of silence on the issue Premier Steve
Bracks said that the government would not allow the parliamentary counsel to
draft the bill.
The bill still could be prepared by outside
counsel, but Bracks said that that government would not allow the measure to
come to a vote.
The opposition Liberals are not anxious to see
the bill either.
Asked if his party would support the measure
Opposition Leader Robert Doyle would say only "no comment".
Olexander said Saturday that issue is not over.
"I am disappointed … but it is by no means
the end of the initiative," he said.
The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said
it hopes to see legislation introduced sometime next year.
Even if legislation were to pass it would not
include any of the federal rights of marriage.
In 2004 the Australian government passed
legislation defining marriage as between a man and a woman (story)
and Prime Minister John Howard has refused to consider national civil union