The Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, has agreed to disallow the ACT's civil union laws.
The Federal Government objected to the law, which recognises gay and lesbian relationships, saying it was at odds with the Marriage Act.
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says in a meeting of the executive council this morning, the Governor-General agreed to overturn the law.
The move is effective from today, and Mr Ruddock says it will prevent the ACT Government's attempt to speed up the approval of civil unions.
"In effect the ploy of bringing forward the date of operation and endeavouring to provide for registration of civil celebrants has failed," he said.
The Governor-General had heard a request from the ACT Legislative Assembly Speaker, Wayne Berry, that the laws be upheld.
In an address at Government House, Mr Berry told General Jeffery that the Civil Unions Act was within the ACT Government's law-making powers.
"The Federal Government has decided for partisan political reasons to intervene on a law which removes discrimination," he said.
But Mr Ruddock says the Federal Government respects the rights of the ACT to make laws, as long as they do not exceed the Territory's powers.
"We have no quarrel with the Territory's legislating in those areas in which it has responsibility, and we accept the decisions that they make supported by their electorate," he said.
"Except when they provocatively and deliberately seek to intrude into areas in which they have no responsibility."
Tuesday, 13 June 2006
Updating a previous post, from the ABC :