Chairman of Estonia's opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) Indrek Saar has convened a meeting of the party's policymaking extended board and will propose at the board's meeting that party support marriage equality.
"Tolerance, caring and openness have always been the fundamental values of Social Democrats. For the past one-and-a-half years these values have been in serious danger in Estonia. The entry of extremists into the government, steps by the government to restrict the rights of minorities and statements by members of the government inciting hatred are jeopardizing the feeling of security of thousands of Estonian people and their families and infringing on their dignity in a manner which cannot be accepted," Saar said.
This requires that those who are standing for a free society and equal rights for everyone stand up for their values and principles stronger and more clearly still, he said.
According to Saar, SDE has always been at the forefront of the fight for equal rights in Estonia. In 2014, they initiated the Registered Partnership Act and stood up for the adoption of the act's implementing provisions.
"I also recognize the Greens and Estonia 200 for clear positions and initiative. In fighting against discrimination and inciting of hatred - including in achieving of marriage equality - all forces supporting openness and equality are allies in politics and outside of politics. We are bound together by a common goal," the chairman of SDE said.
On Wednesday, Saar said the party had not reached a unified position on the issue yet and earlier in the week he had said he would not sign the Estonian Greens' same-sex marriage petition which calls for Family Law Act to be changed.
The petition has over 33,000 signatures as of 2 p.m. Thursday.
The youth wing of the SDE has organized same-sex marriage support rallies in Tallinn and Tartu in recent weeks.
Editor: Helen Wright