January 2, 2019 at 11:46 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Austria
Austria, gay news, Washington Blade
Same-sex couples as of Jan. 1, 2019, are able to legally marry in Austria. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Austria on Tuesday became the latest European country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The Associated Press reported Nicole Kopaunik and Daniela Paier became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the country when they exchanged vows in Velden, a town that is roughly 200 miles southwest of the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Austria’s Constitutional Court in 2017 issued a ruling paved the way for marriage rights for same-sex couples in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. Gays and lesbians since 2010 have been able to legally register their partnerships in Austria.

Germany, which borders Austria, is among the European countries in which same-sex couples can legally marry.

A 2015 referendum on whether to amend the Slovak constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman and to ban same-sex couples from adopting children failed because of insufficient turnout. Slovenian voters in the same year rejected a law that extended marriage rights to gays and lesbians.

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

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