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Austria Constitutional Court strikes down law banning same-sex marriage

[JURIST] Austria's Constitutional Court [official website, in German] ruled [text, PDF, in German] Tuesday that a 2009 law that allowed same-sex couples to enter registered partnerships but not to get married was unconstitutional.

The court ruled that the 2009 law violated the constitution by discriminating against same-sex couples. The repeal of the 2009 law will take effect at the end of December 31, 2018. The repeal will allow same-sex couples to get married and allow mixed-sex couples to enter registered partnerships. Same-sex couples must first end their registered partnerships before they are able to get married.

The legislature is able to amend the marriage laws to allow same-sex couples to marry earlier than December 31, 2018. The conservative People's Party stated [Reuters report] it will accept the ruling while the far-right Freedom Party criticized the ruling.

Austria becomes the latest country to legally allow same-sex marriage. In June Germany's parliament voted [JURIST report] to legalize same-sex marriage. In February Slovenia legalized [JURIST report] same-sex marriage, although it did not allow same-sex couples to adopt children other than those of their spouse.

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