Same sex marriage will be legal in Austria

Austria will have same sex marriage from the beginning of 2019 following a court ruling in the European country.

Gay Austrian couples have been able to enter into civil unions but marriage has held a definition of being between a man and a woman. The country’s courts have now ruled that definition can not remain and have ordered that marriage be made available to all couples.

The court has determined that December 31st 2018 is the deadline for the government to change the legislation, although the government could choose to enact the change sooner.

“The distinction between marriage and registered partnership can not be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples,” the court said.

“Because the separation into two legal institutions expresses that people with same-sex sexual orientation are not the same people with different sexual orientation.”

The constitutional court ordered that civil unions remain in place as an option, but also be opened up to straight couples.

Same sex couples have been able to access civil unions since 2010, and in 2013 gained the right to adopt children.

The move brings Austria into line with other European countries including Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Spain.

OIP Staff

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