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Queensland wants states rights on monarch

Dec. 8, 2012 at 1:14 AM

CANBERRA, Australia, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Australia's approval of a change in the succession rules for the British monarchy could be delayed by the premier of the state of Queensland.

Campbell Newman insists Australian states have the right to decide independently on the selection of the head of state, The Australian reported.

Elizabeth II, queen of Great Britain, is head of state in Australia and many other Commonwealth countries. Under current law, male heirs take precedence but officials hope to make the succession gender-neutral before the duchess of Cambridge gives birth next summer.

Officials also hope to remove the 18th century ban on Roman Catholics succeeding to the throne or on monarchs marrying Catholics.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard asked state premiers Friday to give the national government the power to approve the changes. Newman demurred.

"It's the principle of the thing," he said. "Our view is that we'll pass legislation in accordance with our position that we're a separate sovereign state."

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