Austria's Constitutional Court has
ruled that laws prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying are
According to The New York Times,
the court advised that gay couples be allowed to marry starting in
2019, unless lawmakers act sooner.
The ruling, announced Tuesday, makes
Austria the 16th European nation to grant marriage
In its ruling, the high court noted
that civil partnerships, which began for gay couples in 2010, include
many of the same rights and responsibilities of marriage, including
adoption. (The ruling also allows heterosexual couples to enter a
“Today, the differentiation between
marriage and legally registered partnerships can no longer be upheld
without discriminating against same-sex couples,” the
court wrote. “For the separation into two legal institutions
implies that homosexual individuals are not equal to heterosexuals.”
The Austrian People's Party, which is
working to form a new government after elections in October, said
that it would accept the ruling. But other parties needed to form
the government criticized the decision.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn,
the archbishop of Vienna, also criticized the ruling.
“I am confident that in the long
term, a view to the order of creation, which humans cannot disregard
without coming to harm, will be established once again,” the Roman
Catholic leader told Kathpress.