An Australian judge this week threw out a challenge to the national ban on equal marriage, on the grounds that the law banning same-sex marriage does not discriminate against people based on gender.

Federal Court Justice Jayne Jagot ruled that the ban on same-sex marriages does not amount to gender discrimination because neither lesbians nor gay men can marry, reports Bloomberg.

“A man cannot enter into the state of marriage as defined with another man just as a woman cannot enter into the state of marriage with another woman,” she wrote. “The redress for these circumstances lies in the political and not the legal arena.”

In doing so, Judge Jagot upheld the Australian Human Rights Commission’s decision to terminate the complaint from Simon Margan, a gay rights activist, who sought to legalise equal marriage.

On 19 September, lawmakers in the Australian Parliament overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have introduced equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

In her ruling, Judge Jagot wrote that gender discrimination is constituted by the treatment of a person of one gender being compared with the treatment of a person of the other gender.

“There cannot be discrimination by reason of the sex of a person because in all cases the treatment of the person of the opposite sex is the same,” the judge continued.

She went on to clarify that the Marriage Act federally defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

“By statutory definition, persons of the opposite sex may marry and persons of the same sex may not,” she wrote.

Equality organisations have urged the country’s federal government to follow the lead of the UK Government in legalising same-sex marriages. 

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has previously spoken of her opposition to same-sex marriage adding that her beliefs state that marriage is “between a man and a woman.”