Estonia, Ekre and LGBTQAI rights

Estonia, with its ex soviet past, has come a long way when it comes to equal rights with its LGBTQAI population. When compared to other ex-soviet countries, Estonia is a rather peaceful place to be for the LGBTQAI community (with little religious influence, unlike its neighbours Latvia or Lithuania); although there’s still a long way to go to reach equal rights in a full legal sense.

Compared to 2017, the number of Estonian residents who consider homosexuality to be acceptable has remained the same.

Now, if Estonia is a non-religious country with very few issues towards sex, why has it been so difficult to reach equal rights for the LGBTQAI community? Why have the right wing groups become so focused on their anti-gay agenda? 

The answer can be extremely complex and wouldn’t fit in an article, but we can focus our attention on political distraction and local elections.

What is EKRE and why are they so obsessed with gays?

In case you’re not Estonian or have no clue of what’s been happening here, EKRE (Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond) is a right wing political party in Estonia, focused on family (read Christian) values, anti-EU and anti-LGBTQAI, among many other things. Their efforts have been primarily focused on attacking the EU migrant policy, fighting to suppress any LGBTQAI rights in Estonia as well as an anti-abortion campaign. 

Once every couple of months, EKRE takes its flag to the streets and starts heavy campaigns to increase its followers, spreading its divisive ideology all over the country.

Now once again, why is EKRE so obsessed with their anti-gay agenda? 

Following the steps of Poland’s Andrzej Duda, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán or even Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the EKRE team has focused its efforts in building an anti-immigration and anti-LGBTQAI movement in the country, in order to build a arian family oriented society. The exact reason behind this mastermind has less to do with an actual anti-gay rhetoric, and more of a need to build an internal enemy to direct their efforts to.

Baltic Pride in Tallinn, Estonia 2017

The leftist parties have failed to build and integrate the Estonian society, and the right wing ones have found better results by dividing the society and creating an internal threat.

ok, after all this, why do we even care about EKRE? Is there anything we can do about it?

Obviously the answer is clearly creating awareness of voting and letting people know that abstention is EKRE’s biggest friend. The less young people go out and vote, the more right wing followers will cast their vote to support their cause. 

Is there anyone else supporting the LGBTQAI movement?

Actually yes! the good news is that many important members of parliament are actually supporting the same-sex bill of rights and want to avoid EKRE from blocking this any further. Of course, it all depends on how many people cast their vote, and as usual abstinence is the biggest problem to face.

What can I do right now?

Voting, supporting the local gay clubs and events are the smartest weapons right now. Without your support none of this will work and a right-wing society might emerge when you least expect it (look at Poland, that passed from a center-oriented country to an extreme right wing one in just a couple of years).

Find below some common places where your attendance helps: 

X Bar: 
Sveta Bar: 
OMA Keskus: 
Vikerruum (Tartu):