Victorian human rights group, Civil Union Action! (CUA), has welcomed Melbourne City Council’s pledge to set up a relationship registry for same-sex couples, noting that the council acted because the State Government had failed to do so.

CUA spokesman John Kloprogge said the council’s scheme would provide evidence of a relationship, but could not fix discrimination at the state level.

“The Melbourne City Council has decided to recognise same-sex relationships because the Bracks Government will not,” Mr Kloprogge said.

“Same-sex couples will benefit from the legal and social support a council register can provide, but discrimination will remain until the State Government introduces a scheme of their own.

“Same-sex couples shouldn’t have to wait until all 79 local councils set up a relationship register, which can only afford them limited rights anyway.”

“The best way forward is for the Bracks Government to introduce a statewide civil union scheme – one which guarantees same-sex couples equal treatment to married couples under Victorian law.

“Same-sex partners who are committed to each other want to know whether the Bracks Government is committed to them.”

CUA has vowed to publicly campaign on civil unions right up until the November 25 state election.