Ex-minister says Cohabitation Act was half-measure ({{commentsTotal}})

Rein Lang
Rein Lang Source: Courtesy of Riigikogu

Reform Party MP Rein Lang, a former culture and justice minister, said he withheld support for the historic gender-neutral bill in the autumn not because he was philosophically opposed to it but because the bill was flawed.

In an opinion in Postimees, Lang wrote: "Actually, same-sex couples didn't get anything other than a small hope that maybe the next Parliament will end up passing a law before January 1, 2016 that allows them to define their cohabitation so that they'd not be on a much poorer legal footing than opposite-sex couples."

The Cohabitation Act made headlines for making Estonia the first post-communist country to legalize same-sex partnerships, but it still requires an implementation act to be signed. Lang argued that instead of just going ahead and legalizing same-sex marriage, the initiative became muddled in what he said was an attempt to seem less controversial.

"The 40 votes cast for the fraudulent law - which is not even a majority of all MPs - doesn't give reason for much optimism. What makes it a textbook case of speciousness is that the noble cause of ending discrimination was overshadowed by the contrived need to give opposite-sex couples the chance to enter into a kind of marriage. By coming up with this, they hoped to seem democratic and have more painless proceedings on the bill," Lang wrote.



Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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