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Austrian Constitutional Court lifts child adoption ban for homosexual couples
January 15,2015   By:Xinhua

VIENNA, Jan. 15,2015-- The Constitutional Court of Austria lifted the ban on child adoption for homosexuals, its President Gerhart Holzinger announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

The prohibition on adoption of biologically unrelated children were now lifted due to what Holzinger said was "no objective justification for regulations focused exclusively on sexual orientation."

Homosexual couples are allowed to adopt the biological children of one of the partners since 2013 on the back of condemnation of its banning from the European Court of Human Rights.

The basis for the decision was Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which stipulates the right to respect for private and family life. Despite not specifically constituting a right to adopt, it does mean that such a law would have to be implemented without discrimination, Holzinger said.

Helmut Graupner from Austrian LGBT rights organisation Lambda said Wednesday he was "overjoyed" at the lifting of the ban, and called for the legalisation of gay marriage, saying Austria is now the only country in Europe that has child adoption rights for gay couples, but denies them the right to marry.

Andreas Schieder from the governing coalition party the Social Democrats said the process for the amendment of the relevant laws will take place over the next few months.

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