Last week, Estonia became the first former Soviet nation to legally recognize same-sex relationships.
Lawmakers voted 40-38 to recognize civil unions of all couples, regardless of gender. Same-sex couples will receive the same financial, social and health benefits as married different-sex couples, as well as legal protection for children, but they will not be able to jointly adopt children.
The Estonian Human Rights Center hailed the vote as “historic,” saying it would send a strong message to neighboring Russia, which passed what it called “a draconian anti-gay law” last year.
"Estonia (has) made a leap toward a society that is freer, more equal and values human rights for all," the group’s director, Kari Kasper, said.
The United States also welcomed the new law.
"The U.S. government supports equal treatment under the law for all groups and believes the new cohabitation bill extends important rights and protections to unmarried couples and their families," the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn said in a statement.
The bill takes effect January 2016. Something awesome to look forward to.