Two women have become the first same-sex couple to get married in Austria since it became legal.
According to public broadcaster ORF, Nicole Kopaunik and Daniela Paier welcomed the new year in style as they tied the knot in Velden, southern Austria, shortly after midnight on Tuesday.
The couple, both aged 37, had reportedly been engaged for four years. They are now the first same-sex couple to enter into marriage in the predominantly Catholic country since it was officially legalised on 1 January, 2019.
“Now, everyone has the chance to decide for themselves if they want a ‘marriage for all’ or if they want a registered partnership,” Nicole said.
“That was not the case before. We decided to marry and are happy about it.”
Even the Mayor of Velden, Ferdinand Vouk, got involved with the happy occasion, telling ORF that it was a “great pleasure” for the town to host Nicole and Daniela’s wedding.
Registered partnerships have been available to same-sex couples in Austria since 2010, but in 2017 the Austrian Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples should also have the right to marry.
“The distinction between marriage and registered partnership can not be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples,” the court said at the time.
“Because the separation into two legal institutions expresses that people with same-sex sexual orientation are not the same people with different sexual orientation.”