The relevant section of the man page is:
Three basic behaviors are possible when rsync encounters a symbolic
link in the source directory.
By default, symbolic links are not transferred at all. A message
"skipping non-regular" file is emitted for any symlinks that exist.
If --links is specified, then symlinks are recreated with the same tar-
get on the destination. Note that --archive implies --links.
If --copy-links is specified, then symlinks are "collapsed" by copying
their referent, rather than the symlink.
Rsync can also distinguish "safe" and "unsafe" symbolic links. An
example where this might be used is a web site mirror that wishes to
ensure that the rsync module that is copied does not include symbolic
links to /etc/passwd in the public section of the site. Using
--copy-unsafe-links will cause any links to be copied as the file they
point to on the destination. Using --safe-links will cause unsafe
links to be omitted altogether. (Note that you must specify --links
for --safe-links to have any effect.)
Symbolic links are considered unsafe if they are absolute symlinks
(start with /), empty, or if they contain enough ".." components to
ascend from the directory being copied.
Here's a summary of how the symlink options are interpreted. The list
is in order of precedence, so if your combination of options isn't men-
tioned, use the first line that is a complete subset of your options:
Turn all symlinks into normal files (leaving no symlinks for any
other options to affect).
Turn all unsafe symlinks into files and duplicate all safe sym-
Turn all unsafe symlinks into files, noisily skip all safe sym-
Duplicate safe symlinks and skip unsafe ones.
Duplicate all symlinks.
My guess is probably that you want the "--links --copy-unsafe-links" switch, but it depends on exactly which behaviour you want