Austrian court legalises same-sex marriage, declaring all other laws discriminatory

The ruling came after a case was brought by two women in a registered civil partnership who were denied the right 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....

The Austrian Constitutional Court has ruled that starting in 2019, same-sex couples will have the right to marry.

BBC News noted that since the Netherlands became the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001, 15 other European nations, many in Western Europe, have moved to do the same.

This means that same-sex couples will have to wait until 2019 before they're able to get married.

The reason to consider such a case by the court was a complaint by two women who were refused by the authorities of the Austrian capital in the marriage. The court explicitly stated that a ban on same-sex marriage conveys the message that lesbian, gay, or bisexual people are not equal to heterosexuals and concluded that this amounts to discrimination.

Legal restraints will be lifted in the European country, with the old regulation scheduled to end on 31 December, 2018.


The court also concluded that the law on registered partnership, which allows only same-sex couples to register their relationship, discriminates against different-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 25 countries.

Civil partnerships, it added, will be open to both gay and straight couples, while the words "two people of different sex" will be removed from the law on marriage. The country is in something of a state of political flux at the moment, with the conservative People's Party now negotiating with the hard-lined far-right Freedom Party to form a coalition Government following on from general elections in October.

In Germany, women and men are allowed to Wednesday to a same-sex partner since October.

Austria's neighbours Germany voted to legalise same-sex marriage in June.

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