“By July, I want to pass the law. Times have changed” the new President of the Estonian Parliament, Lauri Hussar, declared on 15 June concerning the proposed law on equal marriage.
With the parliamentary vote taken on 20 June (2023), Estonia is now the first Baltic and former Soviet country to have legalised same-sex unions.
“I want to point out something very interesting” Hussar said “that in every society where same-sex marriage has been legalised, there have been no more problems, because the problem with the Church has been closed and society has moved on. And almost everyone feels that society is now a little more equal than before. We hope to pass the law by the end of July.”
Estonia, therefore, is the first Baltic state to approve marriage also for same-sex couples. In the capital Tallinn, the Estonian parliament voted and approved the measure, two months after the liberal coalition government took office and nine years after civil unions were approved.
Same-sex marriage is legal in most of Western Europe, but not in the countries of Central Europe, once subject to Communist rule and members of the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact alliance, now members of NATO (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland) and the EU (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland).
The approval of egalitarian marriage in Estonia is therefore of significance from a geopolitical point of view, and ushers in an advancement of the rule of law of liberal democracies in the area that was under the oppressive check of the Soviet Union. Over which Vladimir Putin’s Russia has clear expansionist aims, as demonstrated by the invasion in Ukraine.