The Austrian Constitutional Court has ruled that starting in 2019, same-sex couples will have the right to marry.

Legal restraints will be lifted in the European country, with the old regulation scheduled to end on 31 December, 2018.

That is, unless the government decides to lift it earlier.

Although LGBTQ people in Austria have been able to enter into civil partnerships, the country’s definition of marriage had been for “different sex” partners.

However, the Austrian Constintutional Court have examined and repealed that definition, saying that it was discriminatory against LGBTQ people.

Related: Barbie has officially come out in support of same-sex marriage

“The distinction between marriage and registered partnership can not be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples,” the court said.

“Because the separation into two legal institutions expresses that people with same-sex sexual orientation are not the same people with different sexual orientation.”

Registered partnerships for same-sex couples were first introduced in Austria back in 2010.

Step-child adoption was then legalised for same-sex couples in 2013, followed by full joint co-adoption in 2015.

Austria’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage brings it in line with many other European countries, including the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

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