The distinction between a civil partnership and marriage can no longer be upheld without discriminating against same-sex couples, the court said.
"The resulting discriminatory effect is seen in the fact that. people living in same-sex partnerships have to disclose their sexual orientation even in situations, in which it is not and must not be relevant, and. are highly likely to be discriminated against", the court said in its ruling.
The restrictions on same-sex marriage are now set to be lifted on the final day of 2018, unless the government decides to do it earlier, and the new law will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
She furthermore added: 'ILGA-Europe are sending all our congratulations to the LGBTI activists, legal experts (including Dr. Helmut Graupner who represented the couple involved in this case throughout their journey), supporters of the Ehe-gleich citizen's initiative, and all the allies who stood together to call for equality'.
However, in the state's laws on marriage it had been explicitly stated that only two people of the opposite sex could marry.
Same-sex couples in Austria will be able to legally marry from 2019 after a ruling by the country's top court.
The legislature is able to amend the marriage laws to allow same-sex couples to marry earlier than December 31, 2018. The decision comes in the midst of negotiations between Sebastian Kurz's People's Party (ÖVP) and the Freedom Party (FPÖ), both of which oppose homosexual marriage, to form a new government weeks after October's national election. "We are very happy", said HOSI chairman Christian Hoegl.
The Constitutional Court sided with two women who complained they were refused permission to marry by authorities in the capital Vienna. The first country to legalise same-sex marriage was the Netherlands in 2001.
The ruling will remove the words "two people of different sex" from the law on marriage.