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Austria sees in its first same-sex marriage in lead-up to full legalization

Austria sees in its first same-sex marriage in lead-up to full legalization

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Two Austrian women are celebrating being the first couple to tie the knot in Austria.

The happy couple married in a private ceremony on Friday (12 October).

This comes about 10 months since from Austria’s Constitutional Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage.

Vienna’s city government confirmed that the wedding took place at a registry office in the capital, according to ABC News.

Local media reported that the women were one of the five couples who brought the constitutional challenge to the country’s top court in December 2017.

Same-sex marriages will become legal for all on 1 January 2019. But because of their involvement in the landmark ruling, all five couples are able to marry early.

Challenging the constitution

A predominately Catholic country, Austria offered civil partnerships to same-sex couples since 2010.

However, in December last year, the Constitutional Court ruled that blocking same-sex couples from marrying was discriminatory.

‘The distinction between marriage and registered partnership cannot be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples,’ the court said.

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

Earlier this week, Austria’s ruling right-wing coalition government announced that they would stop opposing same-sex marriage, and would accept the ruling of the court.