Same sex marriage will be legal in Austria

Bulgaria Austria Court Legalises Same Sex Marriage From Start of 2019

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Austria just became the latest nation to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

Austria's Constitutional Court has announced that gay marriage will be legalized in the Catholic-majority nation starting in 2019, arguing that its traditional marriage law is "discriminatory".

In a statement, Austria's Constitutional Court, which ruled that the existing laws are discriminatory, said "the distinction between marriage and civil partnership can no longer be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples".

Austria's decision brings Europe one step closer to marriage equality acceptance, joining other nations like Spain, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, that have already passed similar legislations. It acted at the request of two women who were rejected by two lower authorities.

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Same-sex couples must first end their registered partnerships before they are able to get married.

"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 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.

Previously marriage was defined as for "different sex" partners. In recent years in Austria, same-sex couples in civil partnerships have been allowed to adopt children.

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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. 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.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in 25 countries around the world.

In Germany, women and men are allowed to Wednesday to a same-sex partner since October. A similar number of other European countries have some sort of same-sex unions or civil partnerships.

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