Austria: First Same-Sex Wedding Performed Today
12 October 2018
A historic day of joy
This morning the first same-sex couple in Austrian history gets married in Vienna. The couple tieing the knot today is the one which, together with RKL-president Helmut Graupner, last December successfully challenged the marriage ban in the Austrian Constitutional Court. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL) heartily congratulates and wishes a happy and wonderful wedding year 2019 to all the same-sex couples and their families.
The two women are living in registered partnership and have two sons together. These sons had to remain illegitimate because Austria - as the only country worldwide - had legally equalized same-sex couples completely with opposite-sex couples in matters of parenthood and family foundation but nonetheless don´t let the parents of these children marry. Together with four other same-sex families this family turned to the Constitutional Court which, from 1 January 2019, opened marriage for same-sex couples and registered partnership for opposite-sex couples (VfGH 04.12.2018 G 258/17).
After the attempt by the federal government to amend the federal constitution (including a marriage ban for same-sex couples) had failed, as did the attempt by the right-wing coalition partner FPÖ to ban from civil marriage all opposite-sex couples not seriously willing to have children, the coalition parties, conservative ÖVP and right-wing FPÖ, announced yesterday that they abandon further attempts and will accept the opening of civil marriage and registered partnership for all, regardless of sex and sexual orientation, from 1 January 2019.
Those five couples which sucessfully challenged the marriage ban in the Constitutional Court last year need not wait until 1 January 2019. They are allowed to marry already this year. As the first couple does today in Vienna. Austria hence becomes the 16th nation in Europe and the 26th worldwide opening civil marriage for same-sex couples.
Last year´s Constitutional Court judgment furthermore makes Austria the first country in Europe, and the fourth worldwide, accepting same-sex marriage as a fundamental human right putting marriage equality under constitutional protection. In recent years polls showed that 75% of Austrians support same-sex marriage with great majorities all over society (for instance with persons above 50 years, in village up to 5000 inhabitants and with persons not educated higher then compulsory schools) and among the voters of all (!) political parties represented in parliament.
"Todays is a historic day of joy", says Dr. Helmut Graupner, counsel of the successful applicant families in the Constitutional Court and president of Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), "We are heartily congratulating the first same-sex bridal pair in Austrian history and we wish a happy and wonderful wedding year 2019 to all the same-sex couples and their families".
On the Consitutional Court´s judgment