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07 December 2017, 02:37 | Andy Ferguson
Austrian constitutional court legalizes same-sex marriage
". The distinction between marriage and registered partnership cannot be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples", a translated statement from the court reads.
Austria will have same sex marriage from the beginning of 2019 following a court ruling in the European country. The court's Tuesday ruling, however, overturns this law and repeals all restrictions on gay marriage.
The Court chose to take out the phrase "different sex", which now gives same-sex couples the option to marry instead of get a civil partnership like before.
Austria's vote comes after Germanyvoted to legalize gay marriage in June.
Other European countries - including Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic - allow same-sex couples the right to enter into civil partnerships, which grants them many rights equivalent to those of married couples, as was the case in Austria.
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Officials looked into the current law following a complaint from two women who were upset over being denied a formal marriage by authorities in Vienna.
The legislature is able to amend the marriage laws to allow same-sex couples to marry earlier than December 31, 2018. Austrian homosexuals have been able to enter binding unions since 2010 and were able to adopt children and access fertility treatments like heterosexual couples. Therefore, in the absence of any action by the government and parliament, as of January 1, 2019, registered partnerships will also be opened to different-sex couples. Austriamarriage equality will soon be legal. The Australian House of Representatives is discussing the legislation this week.
In April 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in a civil ceremony.
Constitutional courts in South Africa, Colombia, and Taiwan have also ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage in unconstitutional. The corresponding decision made by the constitutional court of Austria, reports Reuters. "This could provide incentives for same-sex couples in other countries to turn to their courts to claim equal marriage rights".
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