Australia's ruling party supports gay marriage, but no law

December 3, 2011 04:28

SYDNEY - Australia's ruling Labor Party voted to support gay marriage on Saturday but ensured that there would be no immediate changes to marriage laws after warnings the move would see the party thrown out of office.

After a passionate debate at the party's national conference, Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong, who is in a same-sex relationship, successfully changed the party's policy to end discrimination against gay marriage.

But the party also backed Prime Minister Julia Gillard's position, that the government would not legalize gay marriage and that lawmakers would be free to vote any way they like on the issue, effectively killing off any chance of a law change in the near future.

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