Daily: IRL Divided Over Cohabitation Bill Referendum ({{commentsTotal}})

Urmas Reinsalu signed a joint Baltic memorandum on war and occupation reparations from Russia. Source: (ERR)
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The conservative IRL party is divided over the bill that would ask voters for their opinion on the much disputed cohabitation bill, which recently passed the first reading in Parliament, a newspaper reported today.

The head of the party Urmas Reinsalu told the Parliament on Tuesday that it will submit a bill to put the cohabitation bill on a referendum, however, according to the daily Eesti Päevaleht, the issue has divided the board and the parliamentary faction of the party.

Anvar Samost, a former journalist and pundit who only recently joined the ranks of IRL, said he does not support the idea of the referendum. While supporting granting gays equal rights, he considers the cohabitation bill poorly composed.

Yoko Alender, an IRL member of the Tallinn City Council, supports the cohabitation bill and thinks it should not be put on a public vote, as it would have no negative effects on the people. Her views were echoed by her colleague Eerik-Niiles Kross, who thinks it unlikely the referendum bill will get enough votes, adding he does not think people’s private lives should be made into a national issue. Kross has stood out as just about the only IRL member to support the cohabitation bill.

Reinsalu said on Tuesday that the discussion of the cohabitation bill did not include the public enough and this would create tensions. IRL's bill would see the referendum held on the same day as the parliamentary elections - March 1 next year - which saves the voters money, Reinsalu told ETV, adding that the issue was not a subject of political debate in the previous election and needs to be addressed.



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