Põlluaas: Polarization of society started with accepting Cohabitation Act

Chair of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) says that polarization of society started with the adoption of the Registered Partnership Act, adding he is convinced that the public vote taking place in spring will give his party the desire result, i.e. marriage being defined as a union between a woman and a man.

"In 2014-2015 when the Registered Partnership Act was pushed through by the Reform Party and the Social Democrats against the will of society, then this was the moment the polarization started and today's situation is quite drastic. Today, the Green Party and Estonia 200 are collecting signatures to break the institution of marriage altogether," Põlluaas said on ETV current affairs show "Esimene stuudio".

"Because of all these things, we are in a situation where we have to stand for the concept of a family and let the people decide. In this situation, where emotions have hit the ceiling, where the society is quite broken in that question, then we need to give the people the possibility to decide in which direction are we going in the future," he added.

Põlluaas confirmed that he doesn't believe that the referendum taking place in spring will bring an unexpected result that the people don't support marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"When we look at the surveys, most people support that marriage should stay a union between a man and a woman. I don't believe that even with the strongest brainwashing, the situation could be converted," he said.

"Steps towards it have been made for years. The politicians who accepted the Registered Partnership Act have had the secret goal to make it to the same-sex marriage," he added.

Põlluaas also doesn't believe that the opposition's efforts to get a distrust from the referendum, will come true.

"Overall, establishing such a goal is extremely cynical. If we take into account that 100,000 people voted for EKRE and several hundred thousand people - 55 percent of the people support the union between a man and a woman as marriage, it means that the people expressing themselves this way are not only excluding EKRE but also most Estonians. If that's not polarizing and inciting hatred, then what is?" Põlluaas said.

"When the majority of society is not good enough for them and needs to be excluded, then forgive me, but we are moving towards some kind of a totalitarian regime where the minority determines how the majority should behave and think. We have been in that kind of society, and we definitely don't want to go back."

If the planned plebiscite's - recently downgraded in terminology from a referendum - result is that the majority is supporting marriage as a union of one man and one woman, then Põlluaas thinks this should be enough for the legal amendment.

"We are looking at everything according to the situation. One thing is if the people confirm via the referendum that society is choosing a normal route, where we have been, and the referendum gives constitutional protection to marriage, then this mandate should be enough in order to change the constitution and introduce the principle."

Põlluaas said that EKRE is not against same-sex relationships, but the party don't support special rights.

"We don't consider it right at all that their wishes will somehow take precedence or that they are the ones who receive special rights or are demanding these rights for themselves. According to international monitoring, there is no discrimination or persecution in Estonia against any group, and the claims that same-sex marriage is a human right are not true. The UN Charter on Human Rights speaks of marriage between a man and a woman, and the European Court of Human Rights has also made it very clear that marriage is between a man and a woman, that it cannot be considered discrimination if same-sex marriage is not legalized in a country," Põlluaas explained.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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