Civil pact

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The civil pact ( Zip ) was the partnership model of the Greens in Austria in terms of the way of life policy for same-sex marriages . It was presented to the public in June 2004 by the Green Member of the National Council and federal spokeswoman for Green Andersrum , Ulrike Lunacek . At the same time, the Greens also introduced a motion for a resolution in Parliament. It was then implemented as a registered partnership  (EP) according to the largely similar SPÖ model only in 2010.


The ICCPR provides for the addition to the marriage through a civil union after the French model of the Pacte civil de solidarité (PACS) before, in which two (in the original consideration several) people rights and obligations can be individually agreed. The civil pact is intended for the first time to provide legal protection for lesbian and gay partnerships, but goes beyond that, because the zip should be able to enter into both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The Greens are concerned with adapting family law to the needs of couples living today, for example families of choice and blended families. In addition, a “bond for life” is only made in the rarest of cases. The civil pact should therefore be easier to conclude but also easier to end than marriage.

Historically, marriage has led to financial and economic dependencies, especially for women, and in Austria there is still the obligation to “participate in the acquisition”. This means that spouses have to work in their spouse's business without pay.

On the other hand, there are still no social and pension insurance contributions of their own, and in the event of a divorce this involvement is usually only paid too little or not at all. In the event of a divorce, this could become a poverty trap for the uninsured spouse (usually still the woman). And the current marriage law is still based on the dependency of maintenance on the question of fault (despite the law amending marriage law 1999).

According to the Greens, marriage is an institution that came into being at a certain time and under certain conditions (industrialization). The concept of marriage has developed both legally (various marriage reforms) and socio-politically. The ideological background is still dominated by patriarchy, but the living conditions have changed: People who today wanted to place their relationship in a legal framework wanted a modern legal institution that was adapted to today's needs.

Although the Greens have been calling for marriage to be opened up to lesbian and gay partnerships since 2005 (a corresponding proposal has been submitted to the National Council), this is not undisputed within the Greens either. Parts of the party are still striving to abolish marriage without replacement as a political (long-term) goal.

In any case, the civil pact also includes the adoption of step and foreign children and goes further in this point than the model of the “registered partnership” (EP) introduced by the SPÖ . The other differences between the two models are marginal.

Political perspective

On the part of the ÖVP (which formed the government together with the FPÖ and BZÖ from 2000 to 2006 and held the parliamentary majority), neither the Greens' request for the introduction of the Zip nor the SPÖ's request for EP were dealt with. The ÖVP also refused to discuss matrimonial and family law reforms. An attempt by the BZÖ Justice Minister Karin Gastinger in the early summer of 2006 to equate unmarried partnerships and clear out marriage law failed because of the ÖVP's veto. The BZÖ itself is divided on the question of legal equality for homosexual partnerships, while the FPÖ is clearly against it.

A change in the situation in Austria was to be expected through a new government majority after the elections in October 2006. After all, the Greens and the SPÖ spoke out in the election campaign for full equality of same-sex partnerships. After a “left” majority (ie SPÖ and Greens) was not possible due to the election result, the SPÖ formed a coalition with the previous ruling party ÖVP in January 2007. In the intergovernmental agreement, however, the conservative ÖVP prevailed - and not only on this issue; Lesbian and gay political demands were once again not included in the paper.

An internal discussion platform of the ÖVP formed as a result of the election defeat recommended the creation of a registered partnership to the federal party executive with the catalog of measures presented on October 1, 2007, but the resistance within the party should not yet be dispelled. At the same time, an inter-ministerial working group met from early summer to draw up such a legislative proposal with the involvement of homosexual organizations. A positive result was not in sight, so that general legal equality was not to be expected at first. The Greens therefore again submitted the zip as a proposal to the National Council .

In the meantime, new elections were held in autumn 2008, which requires a new proposal because of the new formation of parliament. In the new legislative period, the government from the ÖVP and SPÖ introduced an independent draft law for the state recognition of civil partnerships in parliament, the Registered Partnership Act  (EPG). The government bill was passed in the National Council on December 10, 2009 with the votes of the ÖVP and SPÖ, and the law came into force on January 1, 2010. Of the Greens, only a few MPs approved, who posed the matter as such about animosity about the political provenance of the legislative initiative.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. J. Cornides: Everything the same? Legislative initiatives to create a "civil pact" and a "registered partnership" . In: Juristische Blätter 130.5 (2008), pp. 285-294 (online at
  2. Hamburg's Greens are planning a “marriage light”.