Estonia becomes first ex-Soviet state to legalize same-sex marriage

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Estonia’s parliament passed on Tuesday a law legalizing same-sex marriage, becoming the first ex-Soviet country to do so.

Two adults will be able to marry “regardless of their gender,” after the parliament approved amendments to the country’s Family Law Act, according to a press statement.

The amended act will go into effect from January 1, 2024.

The amendments to the Family Law Act also mean that same-sex couples can now adopt children. In Estonia, only a married couple can adopt a child, although single gay, lesbian and bisexual people can also petition to adopt.

“Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love and want to commit to,” Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said. “With this decision we are finally stepping among other Nordic countries as well as all the rest of the democratic countries in the world where marriage equality has been granted.

“This is a decision that does not take anything away from anyone but gives something important to many,” she continued. “It also shows that our society is caring and respectful towards each other. I am proud of Estonia.”

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