Austria's supreme court paves way for same-sex marriage from 2019

Austria's supreme court paves way for same-sex marriage from 2019

Austria's supreme court paves way for same-sex marriage from 2019

Despite the country's soon-coming legalization of marriage equality, it still lags behind in other rights.

Same-sex couples in Austria will be allowed to marry by the beginning of 2019, the country's Constitutional Court has ruled.

Austria's Constitutional Court nullified a previous ruling that prevented same-sex couples from getting married, meaning that by January 1st, 2019 at the absolute latest, LGBTQI couples will be allowed to legally marry in the traditionally conservative country.

The move brings Austria into line with the likes of Ireland, Germany, France, the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) and Spain. It acted at the request of two women who were rejected by two lower authorities.

As it now stands, same-sex couples in Austria had been allowed to enter civil partnerships for the last seven years.

A magistrate in Vienna denied them their marriage license, as did the Vienna administrative court.

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In a ruling announced Tuesday, the court said that the words "two people of different sex" will be removed from the law on marriage at the end of 2018 on the grounds that the distinction is discriminatory.

That left sexual orientation as the main difference between those allowed to marry and those who could enter only into a legal partnership, which the court found discriminatory.

In April 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in a civil ceremony.

The court said that civil partnerships will remain an option after the law is changed, and will then also be open to straight couples.

Although LGBTQ people in Austria have been able to enter into civil partnerships, the country's definition of marriage had been for "different sex" partners.

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

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