Sunday, December 13, 2009

Austrian parliament OKs gay civil unions - 12/10/2009,


The Associated Press

(AP) — VIENNA - Austria's parliament passed legislation Thursday allowing homosexual 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 a series of rights enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts, including access to a pension if one partner dies and alimony in the event of a split. It bans the adoption of children or artificial insemination. Photos

"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…Read complete article - By VERONIKA OLEKSYN -

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