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Lawmaker doubts Australia will allow gay marriage

BY ROD MCGUIRK, ASSOCIATED PRESS

CANBERRA, Australia -- The chairman of an Australian parliamentary committee that examined gay law reform said Monday that he believes lawmakers will maintain a ban on same-sex marriage when the contentious issue is voted on later this year.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs received an unprecedented number of responses on the question - more than 276,000 - and 64 percent of them were in favor of allowing gay marriage. But the committee's eight members were divided and made no recommendation in their report published Monday.

Committee chairman Graham Perrett, who has two gay brothers and supports gay marriage, said he does not believe a majority of lawmakers share his views.

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Australian lawmakers are still very conservative and I don't think they'd allow same sex marriage in the near future.

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