Austria’s parliament has approved legalising civil unions in the country.

Out of 174 lawmakers present, 110 voted in favour and 64 voted against, Associated Press reports.

The law is due to come into force on January 1st. It will provide gay couples with some of the rights and benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

However, it reiterates the ban on gay couples adopting children or using IVF and artificial insemination.

Instead, benefits granted include rights to social security claims, inheritance and court trials.

Gay couples will not be able to hold their ceremonies at civil registry offices, as heterosexual couples do. Instead, they will have to register at the municipal office or the magistrate’s office.