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Austria OKs Gay Civil Unions

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The Austrian parliament on Thursday approved a bill to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions beginning January 1.

The bill provides same-sex couples with many of the same rights as heterosexual couples, according to the Associated Press, but it bans artificial insemination and the adoption of children.

However, the legislation, which was the result of years of work by gay rights advocates, did not clear the parliament without challenges, according to the AP.

"In the end, of the 174 lawmakers who cast ballots, 110 voted in favor of the bill, while 64 voted against it," reported the AP.

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