Controversial Cohabitation Bill Could Be Postponed Until Fall ({{commentsTotal}})

The bill, which has received wide praise as well as criticism, regulates financial, inheritance, and care and visitation rights for cohabiting couples, regardless of their sex.

As the government is yet to reveal its stance on the subject, it is increasingly likely the bill will not be passed before Parliament heads for its summer break in mid-June, Eesti Päevaleht reported today.

The Cabinet is due to discuss the bill on Thursday, but as there are no parliamentary meetings next week, the bill would only head to the Parliament at the beginning of June, and would only pass the first of three readings.

The daily speculates that the bill could then be shelved, as next year's parliamentary elections are on the horizon and politicians may not have enough courage to push the controversial bill through.

Opponents of the bill have called for a referendum on the subject, saying that it does not increase family values, while proponents have focused on the fact that most children in Estonia live with unmarried parents and arguments used by religious communities against the bill have been rejected by religious groups in Western nations.