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Australia capital district to amend civil unions law blocked by federal government

[JURIST] The government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) [official website] is amending a civil unions law [legislative materials] that was overturned by the federal government earlier this year [JURIST report], ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell [official profile] said Friday. Corbell told an Australian Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission inquiry [official website] into discrimination against people in same-sex relationships [JURIST news archive] that the amendments - such as changing the phrase "civil union" to "civil partnership" - seek to address the federal government's objections that the bill equated civil unions to marriage. Still, Corbell said, the legislation would establish rights similar to those available to same-sex couples in the United Kingdom [JURIST news archive] through the Civil Partnership Act 2004 [text].

The ACT is the federal district that includes the Australian capital, Canberra. Under a provision [text] of the ACT Self-Government Act of 1988, the federal government may disallow any ACT enactment within six months. Corbell, who has condemned the federal override of the civil unions law [press release], said the revised legislation should be ready for the ACT parliament later this year. Australia's ABC News has more.

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