Estonia’s anti-gay and anti-marriage equality activists are gaining steam in the country and have seen some 35,000 people sign a petition that voices opposition for same-sex couples.
It comes as Estonia battles between tradition and what LGBT activists say is modernity. As opposition to marriage rights for gay people rises, organizers of the petition say family and “values” must be upheld.
Varro Vooglaid, head of the Foundation for the Protection of Family and Tradition, which started the petition in March, said the figure was more than three times what they had originally hoped for.
The Foundation said they aimed for only 10,000 signatures to be handed in to Parliament on May 14, but were well over that figure this week.
LGBT activists lodged a complaint against the petition in April, arguing it was “incitement to social hatred.”
But police disagreed, saying that the petition itself does not call for violent action against the LGBT community and allowed it to continue.
Vooglaid said of the incident: “Freedom of thought and freedom of expression are fundamental values in a democratic society , and it’s regrettable that homosexual activists, who claim to be standing for human rights, does not understand that.”
Estonia is one of few EU member states which lacks legislation allowing civil partnerships. It, along with Bulgaria, Italy, Malta, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Greece, do not recognize registered civil partnerships from other states.