18 perfectly romantic pics of Austria to celebrate marriage equality

Bulgaria Austria Court Legalises Same Sex Marriage From Start of 2019

The court said that civil partnerships will remain an option after the law is changed, and will then also be open to straight couples. Those rights include adoption and support for fertility treatments.

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

"Because the separation into two legal institutions expresses that people with same-sex sexual orientation are not the same people with different sexual orientation".

Austria is the sixteenth European country to legalize gay marriage, according to TheNYT.

The law will take effect in 2019.

Earlier this year, Germany and Malta both legalized marriage equality and voters in Australia overwhelming voiced their support of marriage equality in a national referendum. However, in the state's laws on marriage it had been explicitly stated that only two people of the opposite sex could marry.

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"Today is a truly historic day", said Helmut Graupner, a lawyer who represented the two women who brought the case before the court.

This means that same-sex couples will have to wait until 2019 before they're able to get married. The first country to legalise same-sex marriage was the Netherlands in 2001.

The Austrian People's Party - whose leader, Sebastian Kurz, won a general election in October and is expected to be sworn in as chancellor in the coming weeks - said it would accept the ruling.

"Now there is equal treatment for something that's not equal", said Herbert Kickl, FPO General Secretary, in a statement.

In its ruling, the high court noted that civil partnerships, which began for gay couples in 2010, include numerous same rights and responsibilities of marriage, including adoption.

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