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 Post subject: Re: Austria and sex
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:43 am 
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Austrian court ends insemination ban for lesbian pairs
January 17, 2014

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(Reuters) - Austria's constitutional court has overturned a ban on sperm donations for lesbian couples, giving parliament an end-2014 deadline to amend a law that it said wrongly kept such women from fulfilling a wish for children.

The high court found no "especially convincing or grave reasons" to support such a ban, a standard set by the European Court of Human Rights, it said in a summary of the ruling. It dismissed legislators' argument that using donated sperm to impregnate women in same-sex partnerships could foster surrogate motherhood, saying this method of artificial insemination posed no special ethical or moral issues. It also rejected arguments that such bans were needed to protect families, noting same-sex couples did not replace heterosexual marriages so could not jeopardize them.

The ruling applied specifically to lesbian couples, so left open whether single women were also covered. It did not address whether gay men should be allowed to have children via surrogate mothers, the summary said.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
Source: Reuters.

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 Post subject: Re: Austria and sex
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:05 am 
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Rainbow parade kept the colours gay
14 June 2014

A parade of colours turned out to greet Vienna on Saturday afternoon, as the annual Rainbow Parade, organized by the Homosexual Initiative, brought a host of Austrians and tourists to watch the event as it traveled around the inner ring of the city.

It was an exuberant atmosphere despite the uncertain weather conditions on Saturday, as the 19th annual Vienna Rainbow Parade kicked off shortly after 2 p.m. The start and finish of the parade was the Town Hall Square, where the Pride Village is located.

Participants took "the other way", i.e. against the regular direction of traffic around the Ring. Leading the colorful demonstration was the traditional procession of Dykes on Bikes. The first Rainbow Parade took place in 1996 in Vienna. Now it has been organized for the twelfth time by the Homosexual Initiative (HOSI) of Vienna.

Around 11.00 a.m. the Pride Village was opened to set the mood. The preparations were made very refreshing due to a short downpour, said organizer Christian Högl. "The weather is the only thing you can not organize, but as it looks, we believe the weather goddesses this year are just fine with us again," he said when talking to the APA. When just a few drops of rain fell, his prediction turned out to be true.

Overall, according to Högl this year over 50 starting numbers in the "pedestrian group", "small cars" and "trucks and semi-trailers" had been distributed. That is with the exception of 2001, a record of participation among similar parades among all European countries.

150,000 people took part in the parade, making it the most successful one to date, said organiser Christian Hoegl from the Homosexual Initiative (HOSI) Vienna. The June annual parade is part of the Vienna Pride event, which takes place this week under the slogan "Proud by Choice". "Your sexual orientation does not seek you out, but how to handle it, that you can decide. And you need not hide, indeed your can be proud to show it," Högl explained.

The protest parade is against the discrimination against homosexuals and transgender people, and sees itself as a symbol of solidarity, tolerance and acceptance.

Source: The Local Austria.

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 Post subject: Re: Austria and sex
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Sex worker. Photo: APA/Helmut Fohringer

Conditions for street walkers in Austria 'hardly improved'
29 July 2014

Conditions for prostitutes working on Vienna’s streets have shown little improvement, despite the introduction of the Prostitution Act in November 2011.

The act meant that prostitutes were only allowed to work in certain areas and streets within the city. It was designed to move prostitution into regulated brothels, and away from residential areas. "The shift to commercial and industrial areas has not been very reassuring," said Helga Amesberger from the Institute for Conflict Research.

But the LEFÖ organisation, which counsels migrant women, believes that the number of women working on the streets has been “rapidly reduced”. The majority of sex workers are migrants, mainly from the former Eastern Bloc countries.

Currently prostitutes are allowed to work on the Brunner Strasse in Liesing, and in the Einzingergasse and Autokaderstrasse in Floridsdorf. These areas are patrolled by police. In both locations there are never more than around 30 sex workers. "Two or three years ago there would have been around 200 or 300 prostitutes," Wolfgang Langer, who reports on prostitution for the Vienna police, said. Amesberger said that one shouldn't assume that street workers aren't working in "unprotected" areas of the city - and are staying under the radar.

Conditions in brothels, however, have improved. The stricter requirements of the Prostitution Act has meant that sex workers are provided with more sanitary conditions. But Amesberger said that prostitutes are continuing to work on the streets because they can make more money that way. If they work in a brothel they end up paying rent and monthly costs of at least €1,000, as well as 40 or 50 percent of the money they make to the brothel owner. Street workers on the other hand have no fixed costs, apart from condoms and occasional taxi fares.

Source: The Local Austria.

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 Post subject: Re: Austria and sex
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:15 pm 
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Austria sends in 'naked police' to stop intimacy in saunas
By Justin Huggler
4 December 2014

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Most people would probably find the sauna hot and sweaty enough without any extra activity Photo: Alamy

It seems things may have been getting a bit too steamy in Austria’s saunas of late, after the management of a fitness centre in the city of Linz had to call in the “naked police”.

While most people would probably find the sauna hot and sweaty enough without any extra activity, the city’s Parkbad fitness centre has received so many complaints about customers getting a touch too intimate with each other it has decided to take action, according to a report in Heute newspaper.

It has hired private security guards to go undercover in its sauna complex – only they won’t exactly be undercover as Austria, like Germany, has a strict etiquette of total nudity in its saunas. Indeed, anyone trying so much as to cover their modesty with a towel is liable to be on the receiving end of a stern lecture. So the budding detectives, like those they are being hired to keep an eye on, will be in the altogether.

You could be forgiven for thinking the nudity might have something to do with the cause of the problem in the first place, but while it is completely normal for men and women to attend mixed saunas naked in Austria and Germany, any sort of hanky panky is frowned upon.

The “naked police” seem to be working. In their first week on the job, they caught two couples, who were banned from returning. Although the sauna complex is open to men and women, all those caught were men. The area of the complex most frequented by the illicit couples came as no surprise: the steam room.

Source: Telegraph UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Austria and sex
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:02 pm 
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Austrian brothel offers sex for free to protest high taxes
June 14, 2015

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VIENNA (AP) — An Austrian brothel is offering a summer special that competitors will find hard to match — free sex. Its owner says it's his way of protesting a tax squeeze.

"Effective immediately: Free Entrance! Free Drinks! Free Sex!" the Pascha bordello writes on its website.

The Oesterreich daily quotes owner Hermann Mueller as saying he will pay the women working for him to make up for the money they would normally get from clients. A woman answering the telephone at the establishment confirmed the offer Sunday. She refused to identify herself.

Prostitution in Austria is legal and regulated. Mueller, who runs other brothels in Germany and Austria, says he is pushing back against what he says is unfair taxation of nearly 4 million euros (over $5 million) in the past decade.

Source: Yahoo! AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Austria and sex
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:55 am 
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Austria upgrades same-sex unions, but not to marriage status
4 October 2016

VIENNA (AP) -- Austria plans to upgrade the status of same-sex unions while still stopping short of declaring them marriages.

A draft law submitted Tuesday for final review foresees that such partnerships will be registered at the district clerk's office, as marriages now are. Up to now, homosexual unions have been registered by the district administration department, which oversees local and municipal statutes. The draft also will allow couples to list their common names as "family names" instead of "last names."

Austria's government coalition is split on the issue of same-sex marriage. Social Democrats generally support it, while the center-right People's Party is opposed. With the two parties in the majority in parliament, passage into law is a virtual certainty later this year.

Source: AP

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 Post subject: Re: Austria and sex
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:46 pm 
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Austria's top court allows same-sex marriage
by Simon STURDEE
5 December 2017

VIENNA (AFP) - Austria's top court has ruled that same-sex couples can marry from 2019 at the latest, bringing the often conservative Alpine country into line with more than a dozen other European nations.

"The Constitutional Court nullified with a decision on December 4, 2017 the legal regulation that until now prevented such couples from marrying," a statement released on Tuesday said. It said however that the current rules would remain in place until December 31, 2018 unless Austria's parliament changes the law before then.

But a lesbian couple denied the right to marry who brought the case, plus four other couples who also filed a complaint, can tie the knot now, it said.

In April 2001 the Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in a civil ceremony. Not including Austria, 15 European countries have followed including Belgium, France, Britain (but not Northern Ireland), Ireland and -- since earlier this year -- Germany.

Others such as Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic only allow same-sex civil partnerships, a kind of marriage-light, as was the case in Austria until the new ruling. Many ex-Communist eastern European countries -- including Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Slovakia -- still deny homosexuals the right to marry or enter into unions.

In Austria a 2009 law allowed same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships but stopped short of allowing them to marry. However, the new court ruling said that recent changes including allowing gay couples to adopt children meant that the two institutions were now largely identical. As a result, "the distinction between marriage and registered partnership cannot be upheld without same-sex couples being discriminated against," it said. It also ruled that civil partnerships must also be open to heterosexual couples and not just same-sex ones as at present.

Helmut Graupner, a lawyer for the two women who brought the case, said that this is the first time that a European court has lifted a ban on same-sex marriage. "Accordingly Austria is the first European country to recognise marriage equality for same-gender couples as a fundamental human right. All the other European states with marriage equality introduced it (just) the political way," he said on Facebook. "The Austrian Constitutional Court gave the most wonderful Christmas present one could imagine to loving couples," he added.

The ruling comes as Sebastian Kurz's conservative People's Party (OeVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) negotiate forming a coalition government following October elections. In June, just after Austria's neighbour Germany changed the rules, both parties voted in parliament against proposals to change the law on same-sex unions.

Source: AFP

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