Gay and lesbian couples began marrying on Tuesday in Austria as the nation became the latest European country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

According to the AP, the first couple to marry was Nicole Kopaunik and Daniela Paier, who exchanged vows in the town of Velden.

In 2017, Austria's Constitutional Court ruled that laws prohibiting gay couples from marrying are discriminatory and advised that gay couples be allowed to marry starting in 2019, unless lawmakers acted sooner.

Austria, which is predominantly Roman Catholic, has recognized the unions of gay couples with civil partnerships since 2010.

“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.”

With the addition of Austria, sixteen European nations legally recognize and perform same-sex marriages, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. An additional 12 European countries recognize such unions with some form of civil union.