Estonia: Gender Commissioner Speaks Out for LGBT Families
Original article: http://news.err.ee/Society/ae74c8e1-89c6-42a6-84e8-5b55e58c10d9
Estonia's official for gender equality commissioner has called for more comprehensive rights for sexual minorities and other vulnerable groups.
The commissioner, Mari-Liis Sepper, said society would have to guarantee better treatment for minorities and at-risk people in fields not just limited to the job market, reported Postimees. The scope of prohibited forms of discrimination should be widened, she said.
Sepper said she was referring primarily to access to public services, such as public transport, adapted services for special needs, and protection of the elderly from negligent or inhumane treatment. Being approved for benefits was also a problem, she said.
Several weeks ago, the Ahhaa science museum in Tartu made news by not allowing same-sex parents to buy a family ticket. The center has since changed its policy to accommodate same-sex parents.
Sepper said it seems based on the media that people's attitudes have become more liberal and positive toward LGBT people and their families, but added that studies showed that there is a long way to go before they are accepted as equals among equals.
"It is extremely important that the state, in legislating the rights of same-sex couples to family life, send out a signal to society: that you are citizens equal in standing, with rights. Your family and children are just as valuable to Estonia as any other families," Sepper said in Postimees. "This will also hopefully reduce conflicts and ostracism experienced from their closest relatives - parents and grandparents."