Austrian heterosexual couple applies for gay marriage

February 19, 2010 /LGBT News - IOL/ A heterosexual Austrian couple is fighting for the right to enter a type of civil union reserved for homosexuals in a bid to fight the unequal treatment of gays, their lawyer confirmed on Wednesday in Vienna.

On Jan. 1, the Austrian government - in order not to grant homosexuals marriage privileges but yet equal rights - introduced a registered civil partnership, which granted gay couples some of the legal rights of heterosexual couples. And with a civil partnership, getting a divorce is a much simpler affair.

"Everyone should have the same rights, and there shouldn't be different rules for different people," said lawyer Helmut Graupner, who represents the couple.

The man and woman, who are both in their mid-thirties and come from the town of Linz, plan to apply for the registered partnership and appeal at the constitutional court if they are denied.

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