Same-sex couples in Estonia have been able to register civil unions since 2016, but the Baltic country took a major step forward when the Estonian parliament voted to enact the legislation required for Marriage Equality.
The parliament voted in favour of the legislation in June 2023, and the provisions came into force on 1 January, 2024.
Same-sex couples in Estonia can now get married in the same way that opposite-sex couples can get married - it's likely that the first same-sex weddings will take place in February.
“Laws provide clarity and influence our attitudes..." said Signe Riisalo, Estonia's minister of social protection. "I hope that unfounded fears will recede and that critics of this decision will realise that what is being taken away is not something that is being taken away, but something very important that is being added for many of us.”
What's life like for LGBTQ people in Estonia?
What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Estonia? Let’s take a look at some of the key equality measures.
Is homosexuality legal in Estonia?
Yes. It was decriminalised in 1992.The age-of-consent is equal, regardless of sexuality.
Are there anti-discrimination protections in place for LGBTQ people in Estonia?
Yes. As one of the conditions for being accepted into the European Union, Estonia adopted comprehensive anti-discrimination provisions in 2004. This was expanded in 2009.
Is there Marriage Equality in Estonia?
Yes. Same-sex relationships could be registered from 2016. The legislation required for Marriage Equality came into force in 2014.
What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Estonia?
Given that it was formerly part of the Soviet Union, Estonia is now seen as a relatively liberal country.
However, homophobia can still be encountered.