Estonia looks set to become the first former Soviet state to legally recognise same-sex relationships with the Government proposing a civil partnership scheme.

Justice Minister Kristen Michal wrote to the three other parties in the Estonian Parliament in August, proposing legislation to remove legal discrimination against same-sex couples.

Michal said civil partnerships were necessary to provide legal protections to the children of same-sex couples.

“Seeking practical solutions to protect the weaker party is the common goal of [everyone] in Parliament,” he said.

The proposal from Michal’s Reform Party has been backed by the opposition Social Democrats, while the Government’s conservative coalition partner, the Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica (IRL), opposes the move.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Estonia in 1992. Sexuality discrimination in the workplace was outlawed in 2004.

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