Article Title:Bruno's world: Gay life in Austria
Author or Credit:Craig Young & Matt Akersten
Published on:10th July 2009 - 06:01 pm
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Story ID:7679
Text:Some Austrians have been bristling at Sasha Baron Cohen's outrageous gay Austrian Bruno character - labeling him "cheap, crass and offensive". He replies simply: "Get ueber it!" Mr. Gay Austria! But what's life really like for LGBT Austrians? Austria seems to be one of the more backward Western European nations. Granted, it decriminalised homosexuality back in 1971, but as with the United Kingdom, there was an unequal age of consent, which wasn't remedied until 2002. In 2004, the nation enacted employment related anti-discrimination laws, although six of Austria's nine constituent federal provinces have more comprehensive anti-discrimination law coverage, so it's deeply dodgy. In 2008, the Austrian Parliament said it would introduce registered partnerships for same-sex couples, now scheduled to begin in early 2010. However, Austria had to be taken to the European Court of Human Rights to force it to implement relationship equality laws. As with New Zealand, same-sex marriage proper and inclusive adoption reform have yet to be attained. Austrian gay fashionista Bruno No wonder Bruno's so 'out there', given the glacial track record of his purported homeland when it comes to LGBT rights. Vienna is Austria's gay Mecca, boasting a thriving queer scene which the Spartacus international gay guide assures us "leaves no wish unfulfilled." There's even the annual Pride event - with the catchy title 'Regenbogen Parade' - and an elaborate 'Life Ball' celebrity fundraiser for HIV/AIDS research. Meanwhile, it seems not all Austrians are appalled by Bruno's antics. As a columnist in a local newspaper wrote: “We can all learn a lot from Bruno: style, zest for life, versatility, fearlessness… This man is proud of his homeland, so we're proud of him. Austria has a new ambassador. Thanks, Bruno!"     Craig Young & Matt Akersten - 10th July 2009
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