Marriage Equality Developments Outside the United States in December Affected Four Countries

There were several significant developments concerning marriage equality outside the United States during December, as two more countries – Austria and Australia -- joined the list of those that will be providing full marital rights to same-sex couples while, unfortunately, one country, Bermuda, might be moving off the list, and the ultimate marriage question was postponed, yet again, in Italy.

The Constitutional Court of Austria ruled December 4, Case G 258-259/2017-9, that the rights afforded to registered partners (same-sex) and married spouses (different-sex) had progressed so close to legal equality that any justification for maintaining separate systems must yield to the constitution’s equality principle. Austria had established a registered partnership system that went into effect in 2010, open only to same-sex couples. Since then, legislative amendments had moved those partnerships ever closer to marriage in terms of attendant legal rights, the most recent change allowing same-sex couples to jointly adopt children and recognizing the parental status of both partners.

For the full story, access the January 2018 issue of LGBT Law Notes.