December 5, 2017 at 8:51 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Ruling paves way for same-sex marriage in Austria

Austria, gay news, Washington Blade

LGBT rights advocates in Austria have celebrated a landmark ruling that paves the way for same-sex marriage in the country. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The Austrian Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled same-sex couples will be able to legally marry by the beginning of 2019.

The ruling notes gays and lesbians have been able to legally register their partnerships in Austria since 2010. A translation of the ruling states civil partnerships have “become even closer to marriage,” noting same-sex couples can jointly adopt children and access in-vitro fertilization and other forms of medically assisted reproduction.

“However, the distinction between marriage and registered partnership can not be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples,” reads the ruling. “The separation into two legal institutions expresses that people with same sex sexual orientation are not the same people with different gender orientation.”

The ruling paves the way for the removal of the phrase “different sex” from Austria’s marriage law on Dec. 31, 2018. It also allows unmarried heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships once it takes effect.

“After the annulment, marriage and registered partnership are open to both same- and opposite-sex couples,” reads the ruling.

The case of two women in a civil partnership who were unable to enter into a formal marriage in Vienna prompted the ruling. The court said same-sex couples “who have lodged a complaint with the Constitutional Court prior to the resolution” may be able to legally marry before Dec. 31, 2018.

There are four additional marriage cases that are currently before the court.

“This decision opens up marriage and registered partnerships to all couples,” said ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis in a statement. “It is a really positive and refreshingly inclusive judgment.”

The Associated Press reported the center-right Austrian People’s Party and the right-wing Freedom Party — which are working to form a new government in the predominantly Roman Catholic country after elections that took place in October — oppose marriage rights for same-sex couples. The center-left Social Democrats support nuptials for gays and lesbians.

Kurt Krickler, secretary general of Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien, a Vienna-based LGBT advocacy group, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday from the Austrian capital that same-sex and heterosexual couples will be able to enter into marriages or civil partnerships by Jan. 1, 2019, “unless the legislature will amend the laws on marriage and/or registered partnership.”

“In theory, Parliament could open marriage for all and abolish registered partnerships totally,” said Krickler. “The reactionary and conservative parties, holding a majority, are more afraid to open (registered partnerships) to heterosexuals than marriage for lesbians and gays as they consider offering a modern alternative to marriage will further weaken and be more damaging to traditional marriage than opening it for everybody.”

“We will see how Parliament will amend the legislation,” added Krickler. “Marriage — and especially divorce — legislation is very old-fashioned and anachronistic in Austria, which is the reason why HOSI Wien only demanded marriage for all under the pre-condition of a complete reform of marriage laws.”

Krickler told the Blade that HOSI Wien demands “registered partnerships must remain in force as a progressive alternative” in case “marriage is not modernized in the context of opening it for same-sex couples.”

Austria is a central European country that borders Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Voters in Slovenia — the country in which first lady Melania Trump was born — in December 2015 rejected a same-sex marriage law that the country’s Parliament overwhelmingly approved a few months earlier.

A referendum on whether to amend the Slovak constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman and ban gays and lesbians from adopting children failed in February 2015 because of insufficient turnout. The Hungarian constitution explicitly bans gays and lesbians from tying the knot.

Italy’s highest court in 2015 ruled same-sex couples are not entitled to marriage rights under the country’s constitution. The European Court of Human Rights in the same year issued a decision that said same-sex couples in Italy face human rights violations because the country has not “sufficiently” recognized them.

A law that allows same-sex couples to enter into civil unions in Italy took effect in June 2016.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • lnm3921

    The best places in Europe are getting with the program! You can delay justice but it will NEVER be denied! Something the Fake POTUS and Trump administration will learn someday along with their nasty supporters!

    • Kemwit Tall Tree

      Yes, Austria is one of the best places in Europe! Especially since they elected that sexy new right-wing leader who is only 31 years old!

      The People’s Party and Freedom Party coalition is 75% of the voters now That is a message to leftists and globalists loud and clear!

      • lnm3921

        What’s the message? The neo/nazi fascists are making a comeback? Austria, the birthplace of hitler and a country that eagerly embraced his ideology! Does your “sexy” right-wing leader support marriage equality or does he want to rescind it?

        • Kemwit Tall Tree

          Look it up NYT “Why French Gays Adore Marine Le Pen!” The so-called right wing candidates are standing up for gay men against Islamists who call for our criminalization and out right murder in accordance with the Koran.

          • lnm3921

            Christians also advocate for our criminalization in countries like Uganda, and many African nations for that matter. Russia through it’s Russian Orthodox Church opposes gay rights and some even in the US advocate murder! Who are you kidding?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Advocating for laws is not the same as state sanctioned murder of gay people in the public square!

          • lnm3921

            Give christian conservatives an inch and eventually they will get us there. There are christian preachers that advocate murder for gays here now!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Fringes- not the mainstream!

          • lnm3921

            You can say the same about those in control of Muslim countries!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Nope – Gay men are executed or imprisoned in almost all Muslim nations.

          • lnm3921

            What is Uganda? What is Russia? Poland is not gay friendly either but very conservative!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Not being Gay friendly is different from widespread murder!

          • lnm3921

            Are we to believe these countries won’t go there? There are many neo-nazis preying upon gays in Russia!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Thugs beat up gay men here, doesn’t need to be Russia!

          • lnm3921

            Yes, and many of them doing for christ!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Being a jew, you are OK with Hamas and Hezbollah trying to commit genocide against Israel?

          • lnm3921

            Again, who said I’m a Jew, a christian, a Muslim or buddhist for that matter?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            You are simply ignorant and are AOK with muslims murdering gay men. What a hypocrite you are indeed.

          • lnm3921

            You’re okay with gay men getting screwed by christian conservatives! I won’t be manipulated by your Muslim hysteria! You’re sheep. Bahhhh!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Please jump on a plane to any muslim country and make a pass at a man – lets have a little experiment!

          • lnm3921

            I have and I’ve been cruised back! This was Egypt.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Oh..where they just imprisoned gay men – Egypt?

          • lnm3921

            So what? We aren’t all obvious queens like you. I can go anywhere!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Not with “Israel” stamped on your passport you can’t!

          • lnm3921

            You can if you go to Israel before your passport expires then get a new one without the stamp in it. Why are conservatives so dumb?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Ha! Caught you! LOL

          • lnm3921

            Caught what an STD? I’ve been to Israel. I wanted to visit Jerusalem, and the so called holy land. So what? Don’t you as a christian?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Aliyah is why you went! Fess up!

          • lnm3921

            I went for cultural reasons. What’s the matter can’t you afford it? Perhaps you swish too much and fear that the religious will stone you.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Cultural reasons? Please, your parents sent you to a kibbutz to pick dates when you were a teenager!

          • lnm3921

            I went to many places while I was on tour there including a Kibbutz. If you’d have a clue, you’d know that is part of touring the area!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Please! Just jump in the Dead Sea and take a huge drink of water!

          • lnm3921

            You’re whole argument is a pillar of salt!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Don’t look back!

          • lnm3921

            I’m always going forward! You’re what pulls us back!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Cultural reasonS…LOL..Love it!

          • lnm3921

            Well, having no clue what culture is how could you?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            LOL..I’m a cultural Jew, not religious at all! Haven’t we heard that BS before a million times! Just like someone saying they are a “Cultural Catholic”! LOL

            You deceive yourself!

          • lnm3921

            Says the Aryan right-wing goose stepper!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Nope, God will reclaim your soul one day when you wake up to the lies of Atheism!

          • lnm3921

            There you go again, thinking you know me and can define me! Could you be anymore full of yourself?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Sure! I can go on for days!

          • lnm3921

            Well, I know I give you a purpose for your useless and misguided life!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            You are deceiving yourself by denying God – plain and simple!

          • lnm3921

            Denying God? Spoken like a typical christian conservative. Tell is to your frenemies at FRC or Roy Moore! They’ll tell you the same for sleeping with men!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Who cares what they think! Don’t let a nut get between you and God.

          • lnm3921

            I wouldn’t let you do that!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Just like Bette Midler sang in 1991….God is watching us…from a distance.”

          • lnm3921

            I’m sure he doesn’t like what he sees in you!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            That’s OK. I like what I see in the mirror….and my hubby does too!

          • lnm3921

            Too bad for you no one else does! Your mirror is cracked! Your hubby blind with no taste!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            What do you know about marital bliss – since you’ve always been the “other woman”!

          • lnm3921

            You’re the evil woman!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Oh gotta go – my sweetie just got back from the gym! Happy Hanukkah Leonard!

          • lnm3921

            Keep your girdle tight Myrtyl…you gut is showing and your thighs are growing!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            You big loser!

          • lnm3921

            That’s what they tell your hubby for being stuck with you!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            You need to review the political landscape and find out who your friends are these days! You can see Marine Le Pen with her gay Communications Director Florian Phillipot on Jewish News 1 (JN1) anytime on Youtube!

          • lnm3921

            Conservatives are not the friends of GLBT!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Bull crap!

          • lnm3921

            Yes, you’re full of that! So much so you’re rancid!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            You can’t even go to most muslim nations, since they won’t let jews in.

          • lnm3921

            Whether I’m Jewish or not is irrelevant. I’ve been to several Muslim countries. I go for cultural reasons not to cruise men!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            I’ve seen you use some Yiddish, don’t play coy with me!

          • lnm3921

            How would you know it’s Yiddish!? You mean words like Oy Vey? That’s just for flare!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            It’s a shonda that you won’t even admit to your own heritage!

          • lnm3921

            Whatever missy. You don’t know squat about me and I wouldn’t tell you either way!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Shonda! You deny your own people! You are sick and twisted!

          • lnm3921

            You support the enemies of the community you claim to be part of. Who are you kidding?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            I can’t talk to a self-hating Jew. Sorry, you are no better than a Kapo. Creep!

          • lnm3921

            Like I care if you talk to me? You’re a self-hating gay who are you kidding?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Nope – I’m loud and proud since 16 years old. I’m just not a lefty political clone like you!

          • lnm3921

            Yes, you’re loud and walk around with a cloud over your head! You’re politics are nothing to take pride in!

      • lnm3921

        You and your hubby can go on vacation there and goose step with your fascists buddies. I wonder how they’ll treat you once they realize your a queer couple? Will you make it out of the area unscathed?

        • Kemwit Tall Tree

          You live in the past and are out of touch with the modern political landscape! For example, approximately 30% of the French LGBT community actively supports the Front National and Marine Le Pen! It’s the same with For Britain, the AfD and CasaPound. For Britain is led by a spunky Lesbian named Anne Marie Waters.

          The reason for LGBT support of these political movements is that the so called right-wing parties advocate for the rights of LGBT citizens against violence from Islamists in the streets of Europe.

          Look it up on Google! “Front National protects gay men from Islamist murders in Bordeaux”.

          • lnm3921

            The reason is you exploit Muslim hysteria combined by racism to gain support for your agenda! Your right-wing leaders advocate reversing marriage equality yet you stupidly assume it can’t happen.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Gays have a right to defend themselves from religious bigots who want to murder us. Ever heard of Orlando shooting? That was no Evangelical Christian, he was a Muslim.

          • lnm3921

            Ever hear of Eric Rudolph and his bombing of a gay bar?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Do you watch the gay men being thrown off of roofs in Syria, Iraq to cheering crowds? How about public hangings and beheadings in Iran and Saudi Arabia?

          • lnm3921

            Do you watch Christians in African nations advocating the same? I recall an incident where an angry crowd desecrated a grave in Senegal because they thought the guy buried there was gay.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            FYI – Senegal is 90% MUSLIM!

          • lnm3921

            These people were Christians.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            LOL…liar!

          • lnm3921

            I know you are!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            You’re a gay uncle tom!

          • lnm3921

            Really Aunt Jimima?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Gay Uncle Tom – you disgust me!

          • lnm3921

            You’re simply disgusting! You have a yeast infection!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            How about muslims wanting to kill Jews? You’re Jewish aren’t you?

          • lnm3921

            I never said what I am baby! Yeah, some Muslims want to kill Jews. Same applies to some Jews and Christians regarding Muslims, right? You included!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            You are delusional! It ain’t Buddhists trying to murder the Israelis!

          • lnm3921

            I never said it was. You are talking about my religion. Are you getting confused again? You having a Trumpian mental collapse?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            You weren’t BORN a Buddhist!

          • lnm3921

            Anymore than you a christian. You did have stains on your diaper though not long after!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            Not Sebastian Kurz of Austria, I already told you.

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