Austrian court rules that same-sex couples can marry

Austria's Constitutional Court has decided that same-sex couples will be allowed to marry by the beginning of 2019, ruling that the existing laws are discriminatory.

Same-sex couples in Austria have been allowed to enter legal partnerships since 2010, but until now haven't been able to marry.

The Constitutional Court took up the issue following a complaint from two women who were refused permission to enter a formal marriage by authorities in Vienna.

It said in a ruling published Tuesday that restrictions on same-sex marriage will be lifted at the end of 2018 unless the government does so itself earlier. Both gay and straight couples will also be able to enter legal partnerships that fall short of marriage.