A gay-themed traffic light is pictured in Vienna, Austria. REUTERS/ LEONHARD FOEGE
A gay-themed traffic light is pictured in Vienna, Austria. REUTERS/ LEONHARD FOEGE

Vienna — Austria’s top court said Tuesday that it has ruled that same-sex couples can marry, bringing the Alpine country into line with more than a dozen other European nations.

"The constitutional court nullified, with a decision on December 4 2017, the legal regulation that until now prevented such couples from marrying," a statement said.

It said that this would come into force on December 31 2018.

The ruling came after a case was brought by two women in a registered civil partnership, who were denied the right to marry by authorities in the capital Vienna.

In April 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in a civil ceremony.

More than a dozen European countries have followed, including most recently Germany. But others only allow same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships.

Many eastern European countries — including Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia — deny homosexuals the right to marry or enter into unions.

AFP

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