Austria's highest court has declared
invalid a ban on gay couples jointly adopting.
Gerhart Holzinger, president of the
Austrian Constitutional Court, announced the decision on Wednesday.
There was “no factual justification
for having different rules based on sexual orientation that rule out
the adoption of children by those in a civil partnership,” the
court is quoted as saying by the
Gay couples may enter a registered
partnership in Austria, but only married couples were previously
allowed to jointly adopt non-biological children. In 2013 gay
couples won the right to step-child adoption, which allows a spouse
to adopt the biological children of the other. The change came about
through a legal challenge at the European Court for Human Rights.
Lawyers representing the plaintiff
couples who challenged the ban called on Austria's government to
extend marriage to gay couples.