AUSTRIA: Constitutional Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage, Ruling Goes Into Effect In 2019 At The Latest

Deutsche Welle reports:

Same-sex couples will be allowed to marry in Austria from 2019, according to a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court announced on Tuesday.

Same-sex couples in Austria have been able to enter only into “registered partnerships” since 2010, with nearly the same rights of married couples. But the court ruled that “the distinction between marriage and registered partnership … cannot be upheld at this day and age without discriminating against same-sex couples.”

“The resulting discriminatory effect is seen in the fact that through the different title of the family status, people living in same-sex partnerships have to disclose their sexual orientation even in situations in which it is not, and must not be, relevant and … are highly likely to be discriminated against,” the court said in its ruling.

Politico Europe reports:

Under the court’s ruling, registered partnerships will still exist but will be available to both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Current restrictions on same-sex marriage will expire on December 31, 2018, unless the Austrian parliament chooses to lift them sooner.

The ruling comes in the midst of coalition negotiations between the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), both of which oppose same-sex marriage, to form a government following October’s national election.