Estonia becomes first Central European nation to allow same-sex marriage

Tags: International News

same-sex-marriageEstonia's parliament passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage, making it the first Central European nation to do so.

An Overview of the News

  • Same-sex marriage is prohibited in several former communist Central European countries that were once part of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.

  • In 2014, Estonia legalized same-sex partnerships.

  • In 2016, the government passed an anti-discrimination law to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in employment, education, and other areas.

About Estonia Same-sex Marriage Bill:

  • The bill was passed by 55 votes in the 101-seat parliament, with the support of a coalition of liberal and social democratic parties led by Prime Minister Kailas, who will win the 2023 election.

  • The new law will go into effect in 2024.

  • A recent poll by the Center for Human Rights found that 53% of Estonians support same-sex marriage, compared to 34% a decade earlier.

  • The Estonian parliament voted on the bill and it passed, making Estonia the first country in the Baltic region to legalize same-sex marriage.

Why Same-sex marriage in Estonia?

  • According to the government, half of Estonians in the LGBTQ+ community have recently experienced harassment.

  • Tomas Jermalavicius, head of studies at the International Center for Defense and Security, believes that Estonia's successful legalization of same-sex marriage was aided by changing public opinion and Kailas' strong electoral victory.

  • Latvia and Lithuania, the other two Baltic nations formerly annexed by the Soviet Union, have not yet legalized same-sex marriage.

  • Same-sex partnership bills in Latvia and Lithuania are stuck in their parliaments.

  • Same-sex marriage allows same-sex couples to formalize their commitment and build a stable foundation for their families.

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