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Austria's parliament approves Civil Unions

Sat 12 Dec 2009 In: International News View at Wayback

Austria's parliament has approved civil union legislation, which will see its same-sex couples able to formalise their relationships from 1 January 2010. The final vote was 64 against the bill, and 110 in favour, reports the Associated Press. "We are living in the 21st century and I'm very glad this step is being taken today," said Justice Minister Claudia Bandion-Ortner. "It's a relief, a big success and a reward for two decades of lobbying," said Christian Hoegl, the co-president of Austria's oldest group for gays and lesbians. While the new bill will give gay couples access to legal rights like a pension if one partner dies, it also formally bans the adoption of children or artificial insemination for same-sex couples. And unlike straight couples, gay couples will not be able to record their unions at the civil registry office, but with another authority instead. Austria now joins European countries Denmark, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, who all now have civil unions or registered partnerships for same-sex couples. Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden have full same-sex marriage.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Saturday, 12th December 2009 - 11:37am

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