Attitudes towards LGBT topics in Estonia

Estonian Human Rights Center has commissioned four public opinion surveys on LGBT rights over seven years. The surveys were conducted in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2019 by Turu-uuringute AS.

The 2019 study concludes that the opponents of the Registered Partnership Act are for the first time clearly in the minority, only 39% of Estonian residents do not support the Registered Partnership Act, while 49% support it.

The 2019 survey shows that the attitudes of Estonian residents towards lesbians and gays have not changed significantly compared to two years ago. 41% consider homosexuality totally or mostly acceptable, while more than half of the respondents still consider homosexuality totally or mostly unacceptable. Differences in attitudes relate primarily to age, language, educational level.

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

Respondents think that society is more intolerant of homosexuality than it really is. 61% of the respondents thought that homosexuality was mostly unacceptable in society.

Communication with homosexual people is acceptable to most respondents, and attitudes towards communication with gays and lesbians have become more positive. Based on 2019 data, 59% of the respondents would not feel uncomfortable in the company of a gay person (44% in 2017) and 60% would not feel uncomfortable in the company of a lesbian person (42% in 2017).

For the first time, supporters of the Registered Partnership Act outnumber their opponents. 49% of respondents support the Registered Partnership Act, 39% do not support it. 59% of the Estonian-speaking population and 29% of the non-Estonian speaking population support the Act. Support for the Registered Partnership Act is highest among the age group 20-29 years, with 68% of the respondents supporting it.

Other questions regarding the Registered Partnership Act have broadly equal amount of supporters and opponents. However, there is a high number of people who do not have an opinion and can therefore not express it.