The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has issued a political statement focussing on a planned referendum on the definition of marriage, saying that this is a chance for the general population to have its say in the state's fundamental values.
EKRE said via its statement, issued at a board meeting Saturday, that both the future of democracy in Estonia, and of the country's populace, is at stake in the planned spring 2021 referendum on the definition of marriage.
The referendum – an EKRE proposal which the party got into the coalition agreement before entering office with Center and Isamaa at the end of April 2019 – will pose the question whether marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman, and enshrined in the constitution.
The Estonian Constitution currently makes no mention of marriage.
The referendum is also prompted by a desire to resolve, in a democratic manner: "The stalemate between those who preserve standing values and those who dismantle them," EKRE's statement reads.
Those opposed to these values wish to overthrow the existing order and replace it with the goals of globalism, mass immigration, multi-culturalism, gender neutrality and homosexual ideology, including the adoption of children by gay couples, EKRE says.
Political parties in Estonia aligned with this platform are mainly the opposition Reform and Social Democratic parties, along with the non-parliamentary Estonia 200 and the Estonian Greens, EKRE says, in tandem with Europe-wide leftist forces.
However, this does not chime with the bulk of the Estonian populace, the party says, who should be listened to more than political parties, regardless of how much that might rankle with the latter.
The referendum will also act as a barometer of how democratic Estonia is and the extent to which the people get to have a say in their future and in societal values, EKRE's statement goes on.
"According to public opinion surveys, the people of Estonia do not approve of same-sex marriages. At the marriage referendum the people can give an answer which would carry legal force in answering the question whether our country should go along with the dismantling of the institution of marriage, or would wish see marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman, as it has always been in Western civilization," the statement says.
"Conservatives call for refraining from radical experiments with society for the sake of cohesion and the sustainability of society," the statement adds, before going on to say that the referendum does not seek to deprive any particular group in society of its rights.
The statement adds that the referendum, also referred to as a plebiscite due to a change in terminology in the public discussion on the issue in recent weeks, is the first of its kind in Estonia for 17 years – likely referring to the referendum in 2003 on European Union membership.
Editor: Andrew Whyte