Annual Review 2011
Equality and non-discrimination
In 2011, Estonia was reviewed during the UN Universal Periodic Review process. Estonia supported recommendations made to take all necessary measures to combat discrimination against LGBT people and to develop public awareness and education programmes to advance tolerance on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as to undertake awareness raising programmes on gender identity and sexual orientation for civil servants, including security forces and bodies. Estonia, however, did not accepted recommendations to give legal recognition to same-sex couples. During the process Estonia could not answer to a recommendation made to develop policy instruments based on the Yogyakarta Principles.
The year saw moves towards some form of recognition of same-sex partnerships. Chancellor of Justice Indrek Teder said that the legal framework in Estonia did not protect cohabiting couples, as Estonia does not provide marriage-like rights for same-sex couples. He went on to call for the Ministry to introduce legislation that would create civil partnerships for same-sex couples so that they could have access to the same legal protections and rights as married couples. There followed the publication of a manifesto for the protection of the rights of sexual minorities by a group of renowned public figures ranging from Ministers to film directors. The government coalition parties were not in agreement on how to proceed, some favouring the status quo and others wanting to introduce more protection for same-sex couples and their children. Meanwhile the Estonian Council of Churches expressed their opposition to any change.
Freedom of assembly
In June, Tallinn hosted Baltic Pride bringing together the LGBTI communities from the Baltic countries. The celebration lasted a week, and included # lm screenings, a large conference, a rally and an outdoor concert. Participation in public/political life In September, Estonian Gay Youth opened the first Information and Activity Centre for people interested in LGBTI issues.