Austria approves civil unions

Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria

The New York senate may have voted down marriage and the New Jersey senate has delayed their vote. But there is positive news today coming from Europe.

The Austrian parliament voted today to allow civil unions. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1.

The law will give same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples including alimony and pension benefits.

The bill passed 110-64. The right-wing Freedom Party rejected the legislation for going too far and the Greens said it didn’t go far enough. Austria is considered one of the more conservative countries in the European Union.

Although same-sex couples will gain parity in financial areas including taxation, certain rights will be denied. Gay and lesbian couples will not have access to adoption and insemination services and will not be allowed a ceremony at registry offices, according to the Irish Times.

—  David Taffet