Austrian women become country’s first same-sex couple to get married

Gay rights groups have spent years fighting for equality 

Tuesday 01 January 2019 16:16 GMT
Participants of the 'Regenbogenparade' (Rainbow Parade) march in Vienna, Austria, 17 June 2017
Participants of the 'Regenbogenparade' (Rainbow Parade) march in Vienna, Austria, 17 June 2017

Two Austrian women are the first same-sex couple to officially tie the knot in the predominantly Catholic country, following years of legal challenges from gay rights groups.

Nicole Kopaunik and Daniela Paier got married in a ceremony in Velden, south Austria, shortly after midnight on Tuesday, public broadcaster ORF reported.

The couple, both 37, had been engaged for four years.

Austria’s constitutional court ruled in 2017 that same-sex couples should have the right to marry from 1 January 2019. Previously, same-sex couples could only enter into a registered partnership that granted fewer rights than marriage.

Austria’s governing parties, the People’s Party and the Freedom Party, had strongly opposed granting same-sex couples the right to marry, but said they would respect the court’s ruling.


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