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Estonia Approves Civil Unions

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Estonia - Google MapsSome good news out of Europe this morning – the Parliament passed a civil unions bill there.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Estonia’s Parliament on Thursday narrowly passed legislation to legalize gay partnerships, the first such decision by a former Soviet republic. In a 40-38 vote, lawmakers approved a partnership act that recognizes the civil unions of all couples regardless of gender. Twenty-three lawmakers were absent or abstained in the third and final reading of the bill. The new law will give those in civil unions — heterosexual or gay — almost the same rights as married couples, including financial, social and health benefits provided by the government and legal protection for children. It does not give full adoption rights for couples in such unions but does allow one partner to adopt the biological child of the other.

It’s a big step forward for Estonia, especially in light of a well funded opposition by the World Congress of Families, an anti-gay group.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Image via Google Maps

Estonia: 35K Sign Anti Marriage Equality Petition

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Estonia - Google Maps

from Google Maps

In the Eastern European country of Estonia, anti-gay forces have turned in 35,000 signatures opposing gay marriage. Gay Star News reports:

The petition, put forth by the Foundation for the Protection of Family and Tradition, will be submitted to parliament later this month to argue against the government’s potential legal recognition of gay couples. ‘Over 35,000 signatures have been given and we’ll forward them to parliament on May 14,’ Varro Vooglaid, head of the Foundation, told news site Ohtuleht. According to campaign organizers, they launched the petition in mid-March with hopes of gaining 10,000 signatures.

Notice how these groups ALWAYS cloak themselves in the language of Family, Tradition, Protection, and Defense? As if we’re a Mongol horde gathered just outside the white picket fences, ready to break through and attack them in their homes.

Estonia: Writer Calls for Recognition of Same Sex Relationships

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Even in Eastern Europe, the marriage equality movement is now percolating. The Chairman of the Estonian Writers’ Union is calling on the government to provide recognition for same sex couples. Gay Star News reports:

‘The fact that some people are homosexual and some are married isn’t even really the point … It all comes down to people, and people should not be pigeonholed in the legal sense based on inborn qualities.’ Sinijaerv also saw value in the opening up of civil partnerships to heterosexual friends who were caring for each other.

This guy has a great sense of humor, too:

Karl Martin Sinijaerv made the call in response to comments from IRL party MP Erki Nool that homosexuals should be avoided and given medical treatment. In an article posted by Estonian Public Broadcasting, Sinijaerv wrote that he could only agree with Nool that it was best to avoid practicing homosexuals. ‘A polite person will also avoid the company of practicing heterosexuals,’ Sinijaerv wrote. ‘It’s always a good policy to wait a little, until the practicing is over.’

Laughed my ass off over that one. There’s nothing better than a great wordsmith to puncture the hateful words of a bigot.

Gay Marriage Debate in Estonia

Monday, September 20th, 2010

A recent map of Europe was published, color-coding states by their legislative tolerance of the gay community. Blue was tolerant, red was not. The Reds were an exact representation of states behind the former Iron Curtain. Even Catholic Portugal and Catholic Spain were bluer than Catholic Poland and Atheist Estonia, suggesting that homophobia stems largely from the lingering effects of a now-defunct political ideology.

Gays in Estonia currently have a zero divorce rate, the lowest in the country. And I began to understand why, after reading a rather ambiguous opinion piece in Postimees written by Priit Pullerits on September 4 – ambiguous in that I’m still not quite sure what the message was. Mr. Pullerits compared legalizing same-sex marriage with legalizing incestuous, polygamous, polyandrous and underage marriage. And in terms of consistency, he has a certain point – if you allow one, you have to allow the others, because, he argues, you cannot give same-sex marriage a special status. Except for one thing he did not mention: consent. And consent really is the most important element of any modern, Western marriage. After love, that is.

Different cultures around the world have different definitions of marriage. It is essentially a contract of union, recognized by the state and a religious organization, depending on where you are and what you believe in. The most common definition given by Estonians is that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. That’s the way it’s always been, and that’s the way it always will be. Right?

Full Story from

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Being Gay in Estonia

Monday, July 5th, 2010

The reopening of the public debate of homosexual-marriage started again in Europe a few days ago when Iceland’s PM Johanna Sigurdardottir became the first head of government to enter a gay marriage. Last week in Finland, Estonia’s Prime Minister commenting on the marriage of his Icelandic equivalent, he referred to the situation of this community in the country when he was asked.

Ansip stated “I think that marriage between man and woman is a sacred relationship, but I totally accept the fact that same-sex cohabitation could have the same social guarantees, such as the married couples”.

After PM statement, Estonian Free Press contacted the Estonian Gay Youth association to have a deeper view of the reality in the country. The law in Estonia does not forbid same sex relations, however in the view of Madle Saluveer, member of the Estonian Gay Youth association, it does not give any guarantees as well.

Full Story from the Estonian Free Press

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at