Renee Pilcher

Push for uniform gay marriage laws has ACT move under threat

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott says he wants a "uniform position" across the country when it comes to gay marriage, with the Federal Government expected to challenge new laws for marriage equality.

Asked in Darwin what message he wanted to send to Australia's gay and lesbian community, Mr Abbott said he wanted to "uphold the constitution".

He said there was nothing wrong with the consideration of marriage equality as an issue, but it was "the Commonwealth Parliament that makes the rules".

Mr Abbott's comments came after an Attorneys-General meeting in Sydney on Thursday, where the issue was raised by Australian Capital Territory Attorney-General Simon Corbell.

Mr Corbell said federal Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, had made it clear during the meeting that the Commonwealth would be challenging the ACT's proposed laws.

It is understood the federal government has ordered the A-G's department to look into a potential High Court challenge to ACT's laws, in a bid to deter other states from such moves.

Mr Abbott said it "is a question of the Constitution" and the Constitution gave the Commonwealth the powers to govern marriage.