The UK government has tried to block other European countries from allowing same-sex marriage and civil partnerships, despite claiming to be in favour of LGB equality.
The Guardian newspaper reports that the UK government had made legal submissions to the European court of human rights, arguing that Austria had no obligation to provide the same rights for same-sex couples as for opposite-sex couples.
The UK government argued that the UK’s civil partnership legislation was “a natural progression towards its goal of developing a more inclusive society”, which was not necessarily relevant to other countries.
“There is no positive obligation to create a structure for legal recognition or registration of same-sex relationships,” it said, claiming that in other countries any such obligation may be out of keeping with the social, cultural and religious norms and traditions.
The UK has now abandoned the opposition, following pressure from the House of Lords.