Austria will have to wait until at least 2018 for same-sex marriage to be made legal.
There were high hopes for LGBT+ rights when current Chancellor Christian Kern promised to introduce marriage equality if he was re-elected. He also vowed to protect LGBTI Austrians in all aspects of life in his so-called ‘Plan A’ program.
Kern is the first Chancellor to take part in Vienna Pride and has claimed that marriage equality would bolster Austria’s economy.
“Did you know marriage equality saves money? The elimination of parallel structures at the registrar’s offices, for example, to name only one aspect,” Kern says in his original plan.
However, the Chancellor has since announced a new coalition program with his Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner, who is from the Christian democratic and conservative Austrian People’s Party.
It’s almost identical to ‘Plan A’—with the glaring omission of any mention of same-sex marriage or LGBT rights.
The original program would have provided protection against the discrimination of the LGBT+ community outside of the workplace.
“Someone looking to rent a flat cannot be discriminated against because of their gender or the colour if their skin/ But if someone doesn’t get a rental contract because of their sexual orientation, that’s not forbidden,” the first plan read.
Registered partnerships have been legal in Austria since 2010 and same-sex couples have been able to adopt since 2016, following the lifting of a constitutional ban.