Estonia has become the first country in the Baltics to legalize same-sex marriage after they approved a bill on Tuesday that will grant marriage rights to the country’s same-sex couples.
According to the Washington Blade, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted “It’s official: Estonia has legalized marriage equality. We join other Nordic nations with this historic decision. I’m proud of my country. We’re building a society where everyone’s rights are respected and people can love freely.”
The law officially extends the recognition of partnership in the country with an amendment to the 2016 Family Law Act, which according to the Human Rights Watch “allowed for same-sex civil unions and recognized same-sex marriages performed abroad.” The vote passed by a 55-34 margin.
The bill, which also allows same-sex couples to adopt children, will go into effect in 2024, but remains a victory for the queer population in Estonia and a glimmer of hope for neighboring Baltic countries. Earlier this year a survey from the Human Rights Centre found that 53% of Estonians believe same-sex couples should have the right to marry.