Shortly after midnight today, two women in Velden, Austria, exchanged wedding vows becoming the first same-sex couple to officially marry as marriage equality came to the Alpine country.
After being engaged for four years, Daniela Paier and Nicole Kopaunik were wed early Tuesday morning after patiently waiting for same-sex marriage to become legal in their country.
Austria's constitutional court ruled in 2017 that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage was discriminatory after years of challenges from LGBTQ rights groups.
Although same-sex couples have been allowed to enter into civil partnerships since 2010, marriage was still out of bounds.
The country’s governing parties, the People's Party and the Freedom Party, opposed marriage equality, but honored the court's ruling.
Five couples who filed the legal challenge to Austria’s marriage laws with the Supreme Court were granted special permission to wed early as part of the ruling.
A September 2018 poll for Österreich found that 74% of Austrians supported same-sex marriage and 26% were against.
— Stefan Schulreich (@SSchulreich) January 1, 2019
The start of 2019 also marks the first day of the freedom to marry in #Austria – which today became the 26th country where same-sex couples can marry, following a landmark court ruling affirming marriage equality in 2017! pic.twitter.com/Fs95wjvkFS
— Freedom to Marry (@freedomtomarry) January 1, 2019
Congratulations on legalizing gay marriage Austria. pic.twitter.com/1brxp866jY
— (@onlythecosmos) January 1, 2019
As of today, same sex marriage is legal in Austria!
Congratulations to the couple who were the first to get married – a great way to ring in #HappyNewYear2019. Here's to many more. https://t.co/S64maZNXV7 pic.twitter.com/VSj5Jn88LU
— Pride in London (@PrideInLondon) January 1, 2019