Isamaa associations: Tõnis Kons damaging party on marriage definition

ERR's Anvar Samost (left) and Tõnis Kons on an episode of
ERR's Anvar Samost (left) and Tõnis Kons on an episode of "Otse uudistemajast" in the summer. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Coalition party Isamaa member associations representing the family, the church and other aspects of its supporter base, say that a recent faction arising within the party is damaging its reputation, not least on the issue of the definition of marriage.

Isamaa member Tõnis Kons together with several other members formed the "right-wingers" (parempoolsed) association within the party – somewhat of a misleading term in English since the group's supporters want to distance themselves from being in office with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and reclaim conservative ground – in September.

However, daily Postimees has reported that the move has harmed the party in claiming it does not have a single stance on the definition of marriage.

Isamaa's official member associations have issued a statement that their position is that marriage should be defined in the constitution as being between one man and one woman. The constitution currently makes no mention of marriage; an EKRE-sponsored national referendum on the issue is due for spring.

The member associations point to section five of a 2018 general assembly resolution and Isamaa's promise ahad of the March 2019 general election that the definition would enter the constitution, a policy which found its way into the coalition agreement later signed with EKRE and the Center Party.

However, Kons wrote a column in daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) in late October in which he said that: "there is no single position on the definition of marriage within Isamaa".

The Isamaa associations have responded that a member of a political party is obliged to be guided by the party's program and to contribute to the achievement of its goals, adding Tõnis Kons had acted in conflict with these principles.

The associations listed: "Public opposition to the party's program position of defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Damaging the image of the party by sending contradictory messages to society. Creating a misconception that the Isamaa party does not have a position on such a socially sensitive issue as defining marriage as a union of woman and man creates confusion in society and does not help the voter understand the opinion and reasoning of Isamaa," as Kons' main misdeeds.

The relevant associations whose representatives signed the statement were the party's families association, its women's union, Christian association and an association of nationalists.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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