Charlize Theron: Forget Marriage for Me

06/30/2011 at 08:45 AM EDT

Charlize Theron: Commitment, Not Marriage, Important
Charlize Theron
Dennis Van Tine/Retna
Charlize Theron says long-term commitment, not marriage, is the priority for her in a relationship. And yet, seeing the importance the institution holds for others, the Oscar winner has come out as a forceful proponent of gay marriage.

"I really want for myself a long-term relationship, and I have been in long-term relationships," Theron, 35, tells Piers Morgan in an interview to air Thursday on CNN. "That's the kind of union that I want. The actual ceremony is not something that is important to me, but I see the importance for other people."

Asked if she sees herself ever getting married, she replies: "I don't … I treat my relationships like marriages, I really do." Marriage, she adds, was "never something that was important [to me]."

Yet Theron, who dated actor Stuart Townsend for almost a decade before splitting last year, says she began to see the importance the marriage to others through the eyes of those who are denied the right.

"It's a divine right, and when government starts to tell us who can love and what is good love … I do have a problem with that," she says. "I do have a problem with the fact that our government hasn't stepped up enough to make this federal, to make [gay marriage] legal."

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