Hungarian court annuls domestic partnerships law

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -- Hungary's Constitutional Court says it has annulled a law giving rights to domestic partners because it would diminish the importance of marriage.

The law, passed by parliament a year ago, would have allowed unmarried or gay couples to register their domestic relationships beginning Jan. 1, 2009.

The court says the new legislation is unconstitutional because it would give unmarried heterosexual couples practically the same rights as married ones, "downgrading" the institution of marriage.

At the same time, the court says, in its decision announced Monday, that a law allowing domestic partnerships for gay couples would not be unconstitutional -- as long as it applied only to them and not to heterosexual couples, as well.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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