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Same-sex marriage now legal in Estonia

A wedding in Tallinn.
A wedding in Tallinn. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

As of today (January 1, 2024), same-sex marriage is legal under Estonian law.

The new law means two consenting adults may enter into a marriage regardless of their gender. 

Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo (Reform) said this move ends years of legal confusion and ensures a sense of security and equal rights for all residents of Estonia. 

"Laws provide clarity and influence our attitudes. I hope that unfounded fears will recede and that critics of this decision will realize 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," she said in a statement.

Same-sex couples have been able to register their relationships as civil partnerships for several years already, and the change in the law also extends rights for these couples.

Additionally, these couples can now transition into a marriage in a simplified manner if they wish.

Under Estonian law, married and registered couples have extra rights and obligations. These are mostly related to benefits, property, housing, lineage, and inheritance.  

 The Riigikogu passed the law on June 20 and it comes into effect today.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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