Australian Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz opens the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting on September 10, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia
Graham Denholm—Getty Images
August 12, 2015 3:52 AM EDT

An Australian federal Senator, Eric Abetz, has cited unmarried gay fashion moguls Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana—who had a romantic relationship as well as a business one—as examples of his belief that not all gay men want to marry.

The Australian Financial Review said he made the remarks during a closed meeting of lawmakers from the ruling conservative coalition on Tuesday, called to halt a same-sex marriage vote in the country’s Parliament.

According to an unnamed source cited by the Review, Abetz declared “Lots of homosexuals don’t want to get married, Dolce and Gabbana never got married.”

A spokesman from the senator’s office told TIME that he would not confirm the senator’s exact words because the meeting was private, but added: “We have not denied that the Minister said during the meeting that not all members of the gay community believe in marriage and that many have the same view as Dolce and Gabbana in relation to this.”

The spokesman stressed that the senator did not say that all gay men did not want to get married, only that “not all” gay men “have the same view on this question.”

In a March interview with CNN, Dolce said: “The beauty of the world is freedom…We love gay couple. We are gay. We love gay couple. We love gay adoption. We love everything.”

Opposition to gay marriage remains strong in Australia’s ruling coalition. Earlier this year, agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce argued that same-sex marriage would hurt cattle exports.

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