Just weeks after the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) approved a gay civil union law, the Federal Government has promised to overturn it.

Despite an initial willingness to consider the law, Attorney General Philip Ruddock has now stated that it would be against the Federal Marriage Act as it is too similar to marriage and fails to take heed of the government’s concerns.

He said: “The Federal Marriage Act makes it clear that marriage is a union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others.

“That definition reflects the traditional understanding and was supported bipartisanly in 2004.

“They didn’t pick up those measures and I think that was a deliberate decision on their part.

“This issue could have been dealt with in a way that was not deliberately as confrontational as it was.”

“The ACT’s Civil Unions Act creates a statutory scheme in recognition of relationships which bear a striking resemblance to the Commonwealth’s regulation of marriage.”

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell accused the government of “pandering to conservative politics.”

He said: “It means that same-sex couples in the ACT will be treated as second-class citizens.”

The laws are expected to be dropped in the next few months.