Same-sex partnership opponents want Cohabitation Act annulled, first reading of implementation acts postponed ({{commentsTotal}})

A rally against the Cohabitation Act in front of the Parliament building on November 24
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Photo: A rally against the Cohabitation Act in front of the Parliament building on November 24 Author: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)
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A dozen MPs from the Center Party and the Conservative Peoples' Party (EKRE) launched a motion on Monday to have the Cohabitation Act that grants same-sex couples equal rights annulled. EKRE's filibustering tactics caused the first reading of the Cohabitation Act's implementation acts to be postponed until tomorrow.

The last Parliament approved the Cohabitation Act over a year ago but left in a clause that makes it difficult to put it into practice on January 1, 2016, when it should technically come into force, without passing the necessary implementation acts first.

The first reading of the implementation acts was scheduled for today but EKRE's dilatory tactics caused it to be moved to Wednesday.

EKRE started to stall today's sitting from the start, saying that their aim is to make the passing of the act as unpleasant and uncomfortable as possible to those who are trying to "force it through."

Should the implementation acts fail to pass, the tax payer might be faced with having to foot a bill of ensuing court proceedings. said Jaanus Karilaid, who presented the annullement motion to the Parliament on Monday. "We wouldn't have this problem if the implementation acts had been passed together with the Cohabitation Act. Tax payers should not have to pay for legislator's mistakes. It's obvious today that we must go back to the drawing board and start the public debate all over again,” Karilaid told Postimees daily.

A set of 6,500 signatures against the much-debated act was handed over to the Parliament on Monday, while the Foundation for the Protection of Family and Tradition held a rally against the Cohabitation Act today. Organizers said the rally was symbolic, with an aim to highlight how the coalition parties of ignoring the voice of tens of thousands of people who are against same-sex partnership.

The implementation acts bill needs at least 51 votes to pass, votes which many believe may be difficult to procure.

Editor: M. Oll