AUSTRIA: Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Five Children Of Gay Parents

Austria’s The Local reports:

Five Austrian children of same-sex parents are taking the government to court over Austria’s marriage laws, which don’t allow gay couples to marry. The children and their parents have taken their cases arguing for same-sex marriage to the Administrative Court in Vienna, and hope to change the law so that the children can become ‘legitimate’. Austria grants equal parenting rights to same-sex couples – including second-parent adoption, joint adoption and medically assisted conception – but not equal marriage rights. Campaigners from the Ehe Gleich group have set up a petition to lift the ban on same-sex couples and so far more than 45,000 people have signed it.

See the group’s website here. (Tipped by JMG reader Luis)

RELATED: The European Union currently has 28 members. Same-sex marriage is legal in twelve of them: Belgium, Denmark, Finland (effective 2017), France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia (effective date pending), Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland.) Civil unions are legal in eight EU nations: Austria, Croatia, Cyprus (effective date pending), the Czech Republic, Estonia (effective 2016), Germany, Hungary, and Malta. No partnership recognitions exist in eight EU nations: Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. Non-EU members Norway and Iceland legalized same-sex marriage in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Non-EU member Switzerland legalized registered partnerships in 2007.

  • Ed Burrow

    won’t they think of the children?!
    (great angle though.)

    • Bluto

      You & I both know that only the right kind of children matter.

  • Blake Jordan

    It is weird enough that some countries have national marriage equality before national housing, employment and public accommodation protections, but…

    It makes no sense to me that people would be okay with same sex couples raising children (adoption, etcetera), but have an issue with them getting married…

    • Luis De California

      That was actually common back in the day in Western Europe and there are still a few places that have had adoption for years and are barely discussing marriage. I hope this ruling comes with a deadline to change the laws, that’s why the conservative government gave up and just let the court’s decision kill the previous adoption ban.

      • Shy Guy

        Yes, indeed. What makes even less sense to me is the countries that allow gay single people to adopt, but ban it for civilly partnered/unioned or married couples.

        So if two gay people each adopt a child, THEN get married, they can adopt each other’s adopted children, but if they got married first, then they are forbidden to adopt entirely.

        I can’t see any logic in that at all. I suspect it’s down to bigots not wanting gay people to adopt at all, but being prohibited to discriminate against gay single people by laws. Sadly it seems discrimination against gay couples is somehow more allowable.

        • RobinP

          Well it’s because it’s practically impossible to have a law banning single gay people from adopting, because you obviously can’t prove (in the eyes of the law) whether you are straight or gay. For couples it’s easy: whether both people are of the same sex.

          So yeah I never understood the reasoning behind letting single people adopt and not same-sex couples. Either everyone or only (married or all) couples make sense.

      • RobinP

        I had rather the impression that in Europe adoption generally comes after marriage and in the US marriage came after adoption.

        Looking at the various countries, I think the difference is in that some European countries opened adoption while having strong registered partnerships when they have marriage laws that are closely tied to religious institutions and were thus more difficult to change (like UK and Nordic countries).

        In my part of Europe, adoption generally came with or after marriage. In Belgium, changing marriage laws was very easy while adoption was controversial. In the Netherlands, Spain, France and Luxembourg, marriage and adoption were done simultaneously, usually after having partnerships already.

        Looking at it now, it appears Portugal will be the only country like Belgium having adoption after marriage. I thought there were more, so I guess Belgium gave me the wrong perspective 🙂

        Anyway, I can’t think of any European country currently having full adoption rights and no marriage equality…

        • Luis De California

          Not countries, but regions: Isle Of Man/Jersey/Gibraltar and not sure if they are still appealing or not, but Northern Ireland.

          Speaking of nations, right now only Colombia and Austria are on the same boat.

          • RobinP

            Oh, right! The British ones :p

            And as for adoption in Austria, I want to first see and then believe :p

          • Luis De California

            Just remembered countries and not territories in Europe with full adoption but no marriage: Andorra, Malta 🙂

            So that’s seven places on the continent.

    • bambinoitaliano

      The deep rooted religious view of the sanctity of marriage.

  • Bj Lincoln

    They have a nice web site. Having the kids bringing this up is a nice angle. I do hope it works for them. It doesn’t make sense to allow everything except marriage. I wish them all the luck, love and strength they need to get this done.

  • Ninja0980

    I hope the best for them.
    On a side note, hubby and I are off to Disney today, WAAAHHHOOOOOO!!!!!

    • Ed Burrow

      For how long? I’m leaving Wed for NYC. Enjoy the sunshine 🙂

      • Ninja0980

        Until next Monday.
        Will be on a bit though, as we won’t be there all day, gotta get our lazy time in too.

        • Ed Burrow

          I fly back to New Orleans on monday.

  • Baltimatt

    Introducing the children of same-sex couples into the fight for marriage rights was controversial in Iowa, as many gay activists were opposed. Yet a straight woman from Lambda Legal championed the idea, and the rest of history.

    • Reality.Bites

      But most states with marriage bans severely discriminated against same-sex couples in parental rights and denied tangible benefits to their children. That appears not to be the case in Austria.

      • Baltimatt

        I posted more for the historical perspective.

  • Baltimatt

    Ehe-Gleich (Marriage Equal) is a citizens’ initiative to get the legislature to lift the ban on same-sex marriage.

  • Ed Burrow

    Shit… I read this article too quickly and saw Australia, not Austria. Reading comprehension fail. (though my previous comment still holds true.)

    • Reality.Bites

      Happened to me too, but before I had the chance to make a comment.

      Now I don’t know about Austria, but family law here, and I presume most places, no longer distinguishes between children born to married people and those who are not. So as children are not directly affected, I don’t think one could successfully sue on their behalf. It seems to be essentially to be like suing because your mother wants you to get married.

      • wineflask

        In Italy (and I suspect in Austria) there used to be strong legal differences between children born in and out of wedlock, and to this day even a number of modern laws haven’t managed to completely undo all the nasty legacy of the past.

    • Baltimatt

      Same here.

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

      Austria and Australia share the same first and last letters.

  • Happy Dance

    Best of luck to them in this hateful world!

  • bambinoitaliano

    How do you solve the problem of Austria……

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    ….out of the mouths of babes…….

  • billbear1961

    Viel Glück!

    Alles Gute und alles Liebe!

  • Baby Dave

    Eastern Europe used to be frighteningly homophobic. Its good to see a transformation there. It surprised me however that Central Europe is still so far behind.

  • Richard McWolff

    More power to equality!

  • perversatile

    yep -I’m cryin’.
    I guess not all children are no-neck little monsters