Estonia is one of the most homophobic countries in the OECD

Estonia is one of the most homophobic countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to a recent LGBTI inclusiveness index compiled by the organisation.

According to the OECD, Estonia is the third most homophobic country in the organisation after Turkey and Latvia. Estonia is followed by South Korea, Poland and Italy.

The countries that are the most accepting towards homosexuality are Iceland, Sweden and the Netherlands, followed by Norway, Denmark and Switzerland.

“Despite a shift toward greater acceptance in most OECD countries, homo-, trans- and intersexphobia remain widespread, thereby putting LGBTI at risk of being discriminated against in dimensions critical for their well-being: family life, education, economic outcomes and health,” the OECD said.

Estonia is also one of the 16 OECD countries where same-sex marriage is not allowed – whereas 19 countries in the OECD allowed same-sex couples to get married, based on the data from 2017.

The analysis said that according to a cross-continent survey, conducted in 2016, two-thirds of adults would be upset if one of their children were in love with someone of the same sex. Moreover, only a quarter would accept a trans child.

“In this context, sexual and gender minorities are at risk of unfair treatment in dimensions critical for their well-being, including family life, education, economic outcomes and health,” the report notes.

Estonia not recognising same-sex marriages performed elsewhere

Estonia has recognised same-sex couples since 2016 when the cohabitation act became a law. However, this falls short of recognising same-sex marriages.

Moreover, Estonia also doesn’t recognise same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Just in April 2018, the Estonian Supreme Court effectively affirmed the previous decision by a district court that a same-sex marriage between an Estonian and an American – who were wed in 2015 in the United States – is not recognised by the state and therefore the American spouse of the Estonian citizen doesn’t have the right to settle or to work in the country.


The cover image is illustrative. Read also: Editorial: It is time for Estonia to pass the Civil Partnership Act and Foreign embassies’ common declaration in support of Baltic Pride 2017.

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