April 22, 2018

Austria becomes latest European country to legalise same-sex marriage

06 December 2017, 09:06 | Taylor George

The romantic Schönbrunn Palace an icon of Vienna

18 perfectly romantic pics of Austria to celebrate marriage equality

"T$3 he distinction between marriage and civil partnership can no longer be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples", emphasizing that the separation of marriage and civil partnerships indicates that "people with same-sex sexual orientation are not equal to people with heterosexual orientation".

The restrictions on same-sex marriage are now set to be lifted on the final day of 2018, unless the government decides to do it earlier, and the new law will go into effect on January 1, 2019. " said ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis, speaking after the verdict was announced".

Its constitutional court said the current marriage law violated non-discrimination rules.

The Austrian Supreme Court yesterday lifted legal restraints that prevented same-sex couples from marrying.

The ruling brings Austria into line with many other European countries including Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

The move has divided the country's incoming coalition government - the conservative People's Party (OVP) said they would accept the decision, but the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) criticised the court. "We are very happy", said HOSI chairman Christian Hoegl.

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Though same-sex couples have been able to enter into legal partnerships since 2010, the legislation limited relationships and has since been deemed discriminatory, according to court documents seen by CNN.

The Constitutional Court sided with two women who complained they were refused permission to marry by authorities in the capital Vienna.

The Netherlands became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage, in 2001.

LGBT rights advocates in Austria have celebrated a landmark ruling that paves the way for same-sex marriage in the country.

Many ex-Communist eastern European countries - including Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Slovakia - still deny homosexuals the right to marry or enter into unions.

It is therefore up to each member state to introduce same-sex marriage or civil unions.

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