Austria makes same-sex marriage legal

Austria makes same-sex marriage legal

Austria makes same-sex marriage legal

Austria joined the ranks of countries recognizing a universal right to marriage when its highest court ruled Tuesday that barring same-sex couples from wedding was discriminatory.

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

". The distinction between marriage and registered partnership cannot be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples", a translated statement from the court reads.

In a statement, the court said: 'The Constitutional Court nullified with a decision on December 4, 2017 the legal regulation that until now prevented such couples from marrying'.

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

Kurt Krickler, secretary general of Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien, a Vienna-based LGBT advocacy group, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday from the Austrian capital that same-sex and heterosexual couples will be able to enter into marriages or civil partnerships by January 1, 2019, "unless the legislature will amend the laws on marriage and/or registered partnership". Same-sex couples must first end their registered partnerships before they are able to get married.

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

While LGBTQI couples will have to wait for that rule expiration date to pass, the court also ruled that the individual couple that challenged the issue in court - along with four other couples who filed complaints - would be allowed to marry immediately. "All the other European states with marriage equality introduced it (just) the political way", he said on Facebook.

The conservative People's Party (OVP) and the far-right Freedom Party are in negotiations to form a government following October's national election, and while both oppose marriage equality it is still expected to go through. In Germany, homosexual marriage was approved in June by a vote in Parliament.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 25 countries.

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