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Austria’s Gays Get Civil Unions! (With 37 Fewer Rights That Married Heteros!)


So Austria’s gays were just granted civil union rights! This means they can get a pretty piece of paper, just like heterosexual couples, and involve themselves in their partners’ social security claims and inheritance rights and tax filings and pensions and stuff. Then what’s the bad news?

These new civil unions do not grant them the right to adopt children. Nor can they perform their ceremonies in front of a civil registrar; they will need a “local authority” to conduct the service. (Nevermind civil registrars will recognize the unions.)

How sterile.


But even that is too much for — get ready for it, get ready for it — Austria’s Catholic Church! They’ve called the new law, which takes effect January 1, “neither appropriate nor necessary, because the existing provisions for civil rights already grant appropriate protections.” This, even though married hetero couples still enjoy some 37 more rights than civil unioned gays. But on the bright side for the Church? The law is more limited (read: discriminating) that other civil unions laws across Europe. Relays the Catholic News Agency:

Chairman of the Austrian Bishop’s Conference, Vienna Archbishop Christoph Schoenborn [pictured, right], noted in a press release that the positive aspect of the law is that it does not create parity between these “registered partnerships” and true marriages. However, he added that this new law has “unforeseeable consequences for all of society.”

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  • Mike in Brooklyn

    It is a BIG step in the right direction. Denmark, and then the Netherlands, also started with domestic partnerships/unions before recognizing full marriage equality.

    Thanks to DOMA, legally married same-sex couples here in the US don’t get ANY of the protections and privileges, on the federal level, that Austria will be granting same-sex couples.

    I suspect that Austria will have full marriage equality across its lands before it happens in the United States aka the “land of the free” where we, supposedly are all “created equally … and endowed by our Creator certain inalienable rights, including … the pursuit of happiness.”

  • headbang8

    Ah, but homosexuals can get married in a church in Austria. Jörg Haider was a case in point.

    The business of not getting married in a registry office, but rather in a notary’s or lawyer’s office, applies here in Bavaria, too. Outside cities like Vienna, Salzburg or Munich, this is a frighteningly conservative part of the world.

    I have a German civil union. It worked in the way we needed it to. That is, it enabled my partner to get a spouse’s visa.

    But even in comparatively enlightened Germany–where two of the mayors of the three largest cities are openly gay, and the Foreign minister is openly gay–we cannot file a joint tax return, nor can I deduct my non-working spouse as a dependent.

    In many ways, some of the civil union laws proposed in the USA, which the gay establishment balked at in favour of a union that included the word “marriage”, might actually have been ahead of us here in parts of Europe.

  • edgyguy1426

    What the hell is with the typos lately? They were doin better for a while then lapsed into what just looks like laziness and a half-assed rushed job. I can see some things getting through in a large article, but in a 12 word headline? Even a high school newspaper would have caught this.

  • Keith Kimmel

    Gotta love how huge sections of the world have more rights than the homos in the United States. Yet this is supposedly the freeist country. Ha! Tell me another one!

  • Attmay

    @4 Keith Kimmel:

    Freedom to the goyim means freedom to deny freedom to anyone we don’t like, even though the Founding Fathers were deists.

  • Kamikapse

    Wow.. you guys are fucking morons to run a Brüno pic with that story.

Comments are closed.