23.11.2009 | Government Bill on Registered Partnership
72 differences to marriage
On 17 November 2009
Austrian Federal Government adopted a bill on registered partnership for
same-sex couples. A first analysis brings to light at least 72 differences
between registered and married couples. This unequal treatment extends to
almost every area of law. It contains inequalities in divorce and
maintenance regulations as well as in labour, industrial and social security
legislation and many more. RKL-president Graupner heavily criticized the law
on national TV
The Conservative Party invested remarkable
energy in the prevention of all references to family and children.
Registered partners remain legal aliens to the children of their partners.
Any rights and benefits married partners receive for their step-children
(and even for their parents-in-law) are withheld from registered partners
(even in the context of leave for hospice care).
Registered partners cannot choose a joint family-name. Artificial
insemination will be explicitly outlawed for same-sex couples and
step-parent adoption prohibited. The latter even in the case of the death of
the registered partner (a right which unregistered same-sex couples already
do enjoy today and which they will lose with registration).
Registered partnership requires a minimum age of 18 while marriage can be
entered into as of 16. And same-sex couples are banned from the civil
registry (“Standesamt”) where civil marriages are performed. Same-sex
partnerships have to be registered in different offices, the so-called
District Administrative Authorities (“Bezirksverwaltungsbehörden”), where
passports, id-cards, residence-permits, driving-licences and trade-licences
have to be applied for.
While marriages have to be performed in a (decent) way that corresponds to
the importance of a wedding, there is no such provision for registered
partnerships. In addition registration of partnerships must take place in
the bureau of the authority while marriage may be performed at any other
places like palaces, ships, hotels etc..
Federal parliament is expected to vote on the Bill on 10 Dec 09. Helmut
Graupner, president of Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), on national TV heavily
criticized the Bill as an act of segregation, discrimination and remarkable
hostility towards children.
Marriage (short-list) (in German)
Marriage (long-list) (in German)
Bill (Text) (in German)
Bill (Explanatory Report) (in German)