VIENNA (AP) -- 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.What all EU countries (and others) should and would eventually do is to follow the example of Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and South Africa in providing full and equal marriage rights.
Europe's main gay rights group ILGA-Europe welcomes this decision by the Austrian parliament.
On 10 December 2009, the International Human Rights day, the Austrian parliament passed a law on registered partnerships for same-sex partners. ILGA-Europe welcomes this development which makes Austria the 18th country in Europe which provides legal recognition for same-sex partners. The law will come into effect on 1 January 2010.