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Updated 07-2002:
Austrian court strikes down gay sex law
Wed Jul 3, 6:46 PM ET

SUMMARY: Austria's Constitutional Court has ruled unconstitutional a law allowing prison sentences for men having gay sex with men younger than 18.
Austria's Constitutional Court has ruled unconstitutional a law allowing prison sentences for men having gay sex with men younger than 18.
The court said that making sex between two men over the age of 14 illegal was discriminatory. The age of consent for heterosexual and lesbian sex is 14 in Austria. For gays it is 18.   The current law permits judges to sentence violators up to five years in prison.  Austria has the strictest rules governing gay sex in the European Union ( news - web sites).    The Constitutional Court gave legislators until Feb. 28, 2003, to revise the law.   Following the court ruling, two prominent members of the Greens party said they would immediately seek the abolition of the gay consent law.   However, the two governing parties, the conservative Austrian People's Party and the far-right Freedom Party, say they will resist any effort to abolish the law.

Austria's supreme court has passed a motion cancelling paragraph 209 of the
Austrian law book stating that, despite the general AOC of 14, homosexual
relations between somebody over 19 and somebody under 18 are illegal.

The paragraph has to be removed by February 2003 at the latest, after which
male homosexual relationships will be subject to the same AOC as heterosexual
and lesbian relationships, that is, 14.


Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 15:23:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: AUSTRIA: Parliament fails to enact age of consent reform law
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 18:02:36 +0000


On Friday, 17 July 1998, Austrian Parliament's conservative majority (Christian Democrats and far right-wing Freedom Party) voted down an amendment to a penal code reform bill providing for the repeal of Article 209, the discriminatory age of consent law (18 for gay men contrary to 14 for heterosexuals and lesbians).

The Austrian Parliament, thus, ignored both the decision of the European Human Rights Commission in the Sutherland versus United Kingdom case ruling that an unequal age of consent is a violation of the European Human Rights Convention and two urgent demands by the European Parliament in 1997 and 1998 which had called upon Austria, on the occasion of the adoption of the annual reports and resolutions on the observance of human rights in the EU, to repeal the unequal age of consent law.

Only the members of the Green and the Liberal parties voted in favour of abolishing Article 209. The largest group, the Social-Democrates, was in a great dilemma and left the plenary in a move unheard of before, because they did not want to vote against the amendment but neither to vote for it and thus to breach the government coalition agreement with the conservative party.

With the same penal code reform bill, Parliament voted, however, the inclusion of same-sex partners in the definition of "next of kin" (or significant others) in Article 72 of the Penal Code regulating the right to refuse to testify in court against certain family members.

This is a real precedent - for the first time, same-sex partners have been recognised in Austria's legal system, reports Kurt Krickler from Vienna. This amendment was tabled by the Liberal Party in the Parliament's Law Committee during the negotiations leading up to the penal code reform Bill according to a proposal made by the gay and lesbian organisation HOSI Wien in its statement in the hearing process of the draft bill. ---

Asst. Prof., Math Dept.,
Occidental College,
1600 Campus Road, L.A., CA 90041


Legal Situation: Prostitution is legal in all but one provinces (Vorarlberl); prostitutes have to be registered and need to undergo weekly health checks and have to pay income taxes.

The age of consent: heterosexual: 14, male homosexual: 18, female homosexual: not addressed by law, but in practice as heteros

There are still three discriminating paragraphs concerning the legal situation of homosexuals ("advertisement for sexual deviation" ABOLISHED, "age of consent", "prohibition of organizations" ABOLISHED); prosecutions only for age-of-consent, the other two are considered dead law


The World Sex Guide
(C) 1994-97 by Atta & M. Last update: 1997/04/21.
Permission is granted to freely copy, modify, and distribute this document in whole or in part, provided that it is not done for profit and that this entire copyright notice remains attached.

Updated 01-2001


AUSTRIA LAWS: 1. Has no sodomy laws, the age of sexual consent is 18 for gay men and   14 for lesbians and heterosexuals. "Same Sex Lewdness" with persons   under 18 Years: a man over 19 years of age who engages in same-sex
lewdness with a person who has attained the age of 14 but not yet  the age of 18 years can be punished with imprisonment from six months to five years.
2. Allows homosexuals in its military, however while gay conscripts are welcome for the compulsory service, openly gay people have no chance of embarking on a professional career in the army.
3. The 1992 Reproductive Medicine Act explicitly excludes lesbians and all single women from the benefit of artificial insemination or  in-vitro fertilisation methods, those are restricted to married women or women in long-term heterosexual partnerships only.
4. The city of Bludenz, has a non-discrimination "declaration" which   includes "sexual orientation".
5. The 1993 Police Security Act, requires the police to refrain from any actions that could create the impression of bias or could be perceived as discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.



Austria - Autriche - Austria Vienne
V. La pornographie enfantine
Article 207a du Code Pénal
L’article 207a du code pénal interdit la production et la diffusion de toute image représentant un mineur de moins de quatorze (14) ans participant à un acte sexuel. Cette infraction est sanctionnée par une peine de prison d’au plus un an ou par une amende égale à 360 " taux journaliers ".   Le même article interdit la possession d’une telle image. Dans ce cas, la punition consiste soit en une peine de prison d’au plus six mois, soit en une amende égale à 360 " taux journaliers ".  Seuls les supports visuels sont visés par l’interdiction.



Update 1/10/99

Dear friends,

in Austria the paragraphs outlawing "advertisement for sexual deviation"
and "prohibition of organisations" were abolished in Dec. 1997 or so.
The paragraph concerning the age of consent for male homosexual
behaviour remains in force, however.
Best regards

Agnes Korn
Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft : Tel. + 49 - 69 - 798 22 847
Universitaet Frankfurt : Fax + 49 - 69 - 798 22 873
PF 11 19 32 :
D - 60054 Frankfurt :




Legislation against child sex tourism


Prostitution as such is not legally prohibited. Nor are the organization and promotion of ¨sex trips¨ disapproved by the law in principle, this on the basis of section 214 of the Penal Code which provides for a restrictive interpretation of the promotion of illicit sexual practices for remuneration; the deed consists of bringing a person into illicit sexual contact with another person. According to the jurisdiction, the ¨bringing into contact¨ is to be particular illicit sexual practices. The mere organization of trips to countries or regions where extensive prostitution is notorious, is not to be subsumed under this term.

A quite different matter is the organization and promotion of child sex tourism. In accordance with section 206 of the Penal Code sexual intercourse with a minor (under 14 years of age), and in accordance with section 207 of the Penal Code, the abuse of a minor for illicit sexual practices of any other kind than sexual intercourse are liable to prosecution. The organization and/or promotion of trips specifically destined for illicit sexual intercourse with minors would have to be seen as secondary (determinative and/or contributory) perpetration of an offence (in the meaning of section 12, second and third cases of the Penal Code) in respect of the deed of the principal perpetrator; the secondary perpetrator is liable to the same prosecution as is the principal perpetrator (compare "Penalties" below).

Extra-territoriality Laws:

Section 62 of the Austrian Penal Code applies in principle to deeds committed on national territory and section 63 to deeds committed on an Austrian vessel or aircraft.

In accordance with section 64, first para, the Austrian Penal Code also applies to a number of offences listed in the provisions and committed abroad, irrespective of the legal provisions in force at the place of the offence. Among these offences are, in accordance with section 64, para 1, Z 4a, the sexual intercourse with minors (section 206 of the Penal Code) and illicit sexual practices with minors (section 207 of the Penal Code), if the perpetrator is an Austrian and has his permanent residence in Austria. The Austrian Penal Code is thus applicable extraterritorially if an Austrian citizen with permanent residence in Austria commits sexual intercourse or illicit sexual practices with minors outside Austria (sections 206 and 207 of the Penal Code). This applies irrespectively of the legislation in force at the place of the offence, i.e. it would be of no avail that the age up to which minors are protected is lower at the place of the offence than in Austria.

As regards other offences committed abroad (than those listed in section 64 of the Penal Code), Austrian penal laws only apply on condition of double criminal liability, i.e. only if the offence is liable to prosecution also under the laws in force at the place of the offence. Further preconditions are, in principle, that the perpetrator was an Austrian citizen at the time of the offence and still holds Austrian citizenship at the time of the instigation of the criminal proceedings, or, if the perpetrator was an alien at the time of the offence, is apprehended in Austria and cannot be extradited for another reason then the kind or quality of his offence (section 65, para 1, of the Penal Code).


In accordance with section 206, para 1, of the Penal Code, sexual intercourse with minors is punishable with imprisonment of one to ten years. In accordance with section 206, para 2 of the Penal Code, aggravated consequences of an offence entail a higher punishment, in the event of (carelessly caused) death of a minor up to ten to twenty years of imprisonment.

According to section 207, para 1 of the Penal Code, illicit sexual practices with minors are punishable with imprisonment of six months to five years. Aggravated consequences of the offence (as in section 206, para 2 of the Penal Code) entail imprisonment up to a maximum period of five to fifteen years.

Operators of brothels in which child prostitution is committed, panders and the like are considered secondary perpetrators and are, in principle, liable to the same criminal prosecution as the principal offenders.

Smuggling of human beings in accordance with section 217 of the Penal Code is, in principle, not linked with the age of the victim. The respective provisions foresee that whoever brings a person, no matter whether he/she may already have been engaged in illicit sexual practices, have carried out these illicit sexual practices in another country than that of which he /she is a citizen or has his/her permanent residence, into contact with illicit sexual practices or solicits the latter, is liable to imprisonment of six months to five years, in the even of a commercial basis of one to ten years.

In the case of smuggling minors (under 14 years of age), this provision can be applicable in addition to sections 206 bis of the Penal Code.

The terms ¨detention¨ and/or ¨confinement¨ are not clear. In principle, the following offence could be at stake: section 101 of the Penal Code (abduction of a minor for the purpose of illicit sexual abuse of bringing into contact with illicit sexual practices): imprisonment of six months to five years; sections 105, 106, para 1, Z 3 of the Penal Code (compulsion by threat or force): imprisonment of six months up to five years, if the forced person is compelled to carry out, tolerate, or neglect a deed which violates essential interests of the person forced; section 105 of the Penal Code: imprisonment up to three years in accordance with para 1, under aggravated circumstances one to ten years in accordance with para 2.

With the exception of para 101 of the Penal Code the above provisions could be applied in addition to those provided for in sections 206 and 207 of the Penal Code. Section 101 (abduction of a minor) would be punishable as such only if, in accordance with sections 206 and 207 of the Penal Code, no sexual intercourse and no illicit sexual practices with minors occurred.

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