Part of us is quite sorry for using a bait-and-switch headline like that on you all, particularly given the subject matter. But another, much more honest, part of us will never apologise and is guffawing heartily. Nevertheless, our Dumb & Dumber-punchline sister country Austria – that’s A-U-S-T-R-I-A – has just seen a landmark court ruling that will see the country gain marriage equality by no later than 2019.
Austria’s Constitutional Court nullified a previous ruling that prevented same-sex couples from getting married, meaning that by January 1st, 2019 at the absolute latest, LGBTQI couples will be allowed to legally marry in the traditionally conservative country.
A statement released on Tuesday (Euro time) confirmed that “The Constitutional Court nullified with a decision on December 4, 2017 the legal regulation that until now prevented such couples from marrying.”
The current rules on marriage will remain in place until at least the end of 2018, unless Austria’s parliament decides to legislate and change their marriage rules in the interim. The country is in something of a state of political flux at the moment, with the conservative People’s Party currently negotiating with the hard-lined far-right Freedom Party to form a coalition Government following on from general elections in October.
While LGBTQI couples will have to wait for that rule expiration date to pass, the court also ruled that the individual couple that challenged the issue in court – along with four other couples who filed complaints – would be allowed to marry immediately.
The court ruling means Austria now joins 16 other European countries in allowing marriage equality, among some 25-odd worldwide.
AustrALia’s turn is expected to come incredibly shortly, with experts suggesting that the long-awaited bill will pass our ridiculous Parliament as early as the end of this week, with LGBTQI couples potentially getting married in Australia as early as January.
Fingers crossed, mates.