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Australia PM won't commit to changes to end same-sex discrimination

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] said in an interview with Sky News Thursday that his government will not commit to making changes [transcript] called for in an official report on eliminating discrimination against same-sex couples [JURIST news archive]. The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission [official website] report released Thursday recommends legislative changes to 58 federal laws [press release; report text] to end discrimination against same-sex couples in areas such employment, workers' compensation, veterans' entitlements, health care subsidies, family law, senior care and immigration law. Howard said that he would have to study the report before deciding on any potential changes, but said that there was "no possibility of our attitude in relation to gay marriage changing."

Howard had no comment about a national poll released Thursday that found that a majority of Australians support same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The poll, conducted by Galaxy Research [corporate website] and reported by political group GetUp! [advocacy website] found that in a sample of 1100 Australians over the age of 16, 57 percent support same sex marriage [press release and results, PDF], while 71 percent support giving same-sex couples identical legal rights as "those in a heterosexual de facto relationship." Howard said he will not comment without obtaining more analysis on the poll results. AP has more. The Australian has additional coverage.

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