Austrian Parliament OKs Gay Civil Unions

From The SF Chronicle:

Austria’s parliament passed legislation Thursday allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, a move hailed by proponents as a historic win for gay rights in the country.

The bill, slated to become law Jan. 1, will give same-sex couples many of the rights enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts, including access to a pension if one partner dies and alimony in the event of a split.

“We are living in the 21st century and I’m very glad this step is being taken today,” Justice Minister Claudia Bandion-Ortner said during parliamentary debate leading up to the vote.

Christian Hoegl, co-president of the Homosexual Initiative Vienna, Austria’s oldest group of gays and lesbians, agreed.

“It’s a relief, a big success and a reward for two decades of lobbying,” Hoegl said.

Earlier in the day, Hoegl and co-president Jona Solomon passed out pink rum-filled cupcakes to parliamentarians, along with a letter that urged them to vote yes.

The legislation — considered a compromise between the governing coalition — did not pass unanimously. In the end, of the 174 lawmakers who cast ballots, 110 voted in favor of the bill, and 64 voted against it.

[Read more at The SF Chronicle]

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  • http://twitter.com/Dumbsaint Dumbsaint

    It's embarassing that this isn't even on the table where I live.

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