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Austria Gets First Same-Sex Marriage
by Newscenter Staff

July 5, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Vienna) A ruling by Austria's highest court in an unusual case has resulted in the country's first same-sex marriage.

It involves a transsexual who, while still biologically male, married a woman.  Now that the transition is complete neither party wants to divorce.

The names of neither party was released by the court.

The transsexual spouse was turned down by the Interior Ministry when she requested to have her birth records and other official documents amended to reflect her correct sex on the grounds that she was married.

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Austria.

She then went to the Constitutional Court. 

In agreeing to the change the court noted that amending records for transsexuals is commonly done in Austria and agreed to the change.

The judgment said that the very fact the woman was married should have no bearing on the case and  by default accepted Austria's first same-sex marriage.

The ruling did not specifically address the issue of gay marriage leaving open a possible government challenge to the marriage.

The government said it was studying the verdict.  It recently rejected a proposal to extend limited rights to same-sex couples.

© 2006

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