Estonia’s liberal reputation at stake as gay marriage referendum emboldens the far-right

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11/6/2020

Over the past decade, Estonia has developed an international reputation as both an economic tech hub and a liberal bastion of human rights. As well as opening its doors to digital nomads with initiatives such as e-residency , Estonia was the first state in the Baltics to pass a law on same-sex partnerships. But now its liberal reputation could be in trouble. The country’s coalition government, which encompasses the Centre Party, the Fatherland Party, known as Isamaa, and the far-right EKRE party has announced a referendum next spring on the constitutional definition of marriage. It is set to ask a question about whether marriage should be defined in the constitution as being between a man and women. “The referendum is part of the far-right’s desire to roll back liberal policies that have brought greater equality and tolerance to our societies. And it also a cynical way to divide people,” Raimond Kaljulaid, an Estonian parliamentarian representing the Social Democrats in Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament, told Euronews.

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