The Austrian Constitutional Court's ruling on December 4, 2017, that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional is a powerful victory for equal marriage rights, Human Rights Watch said today.
The Austrian Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality yesterday by lifting legal limitations that blocked gay couple from getting married.
As it now stands, same-sex couples in Austria had been allowed to enter civil partnerships for the last seven years.More news: Hunt to Facebook: 'Stay away from my kids'
"People living in same-sex partnerships have to disclose their sexual orientation even in situations in which it is not, and must not be, relevant and ... are highly likely to be discriminated against", the court continued, explaining part of the motivation for repealing gay marriage restrictions.
Same-sex couples in Austria could previously enter into a civil partnership.
They continued: "Because the separation into two legal institutions expresses that people with same-sex sexual orientation are not the same people with different sexual orientation".
Officials looked into the current law following a complaint from two women who were upset over being denied a formal marriage by authorities in Vienna. The country is in something of a state of political flux at the moment, with the conservative People's Party now negotiating with the hard-lined far-right Freedom Party to form a coalition Government following on from general elections in October. Men who have sex with men are also not allowed to donate blood.
The ruling, announced Tuesday, makes Austria the 16 European nation to grant marriage equality.