Notables Champion Gay Partnership Legalization (10)

An LGBT rights protest in Tallinn from a few years ago. The sign says "everyone is different; everyone is equal." Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
6/10/2011 1:50 PM
Category: Culture

A manifesto supporting the rights of sexual minorities in Estonia, signed by 41 notables ranging from ministers to film directors, calls for a same-sex law.

The document, released by European Parliament member Kristiina Ojuland, who sits on the EU human rights committee, began the appeal with a quote from US author H. Jackson Brown: "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost."

According to a study by Gallup, Ojuland wrote, the world's happiest nations from 2005 to 2009 - Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Holland – are all tolerant of LGBT people. Estonia, however, ranked 90th, after Algeria and Somalia, and before Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The one-page document begins with: "Everyone deserves to be happy. Sometimes it is enough to have a caring partner with whom to tie one's life, and with whom to share joys and troubles, a common home and the knowing that they can depend on one another [...] There is no point to intolerance that is directed toward something that does not depend on a person's volition and does not damage the right to happiness of the rest of society. Inciting anger and violence is a sign of an insecure person and society! [...]"

Ojuland wrote that Estonia currently has a legal vacuum for the rights of sexual minorities, as the partnership law does not expand to same-sex partnerships. „We Estonians are few in number and for that reason we need to stick together, and support and respect every member of society," she wrote.

In May, Chancellor of Justice Indrek Teder requested that the Ministry of Justice introduce legislation to give same-sex partnerships a legal foundation. Teder said that the current legal framework does not ensure adequate protection of the rights of de-facto cohabitation partners, and is thus contrary to the constitution.


Ott Tammik

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