Coalition agrees on marriage definition question wording

Wedding in progress at Tallinn's main registry office on Pärnu mnt.
Wedding in progress at Tallinn's main registry office on Pärnu mnt. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The three coalition parties have agreed on a question for a planned national poll on the definition of marriage.

ERR's online news in Estonian reports that the question will be formulated as: "Should marriage in Estonia remain as a union between one man and one woman?".

While the wording is to be debated at the Riigikogu, it is unlikely to change beyond that and is similar to the wording proposed by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) last week.

The Riigikogu also has to approve the actual process of the planned vote, originally referred to as a referendum ("Rahvahääletus") but more recently as a plebiscite ("Rahvaküsitlus"), in the wake of discussions as to how binding the vote, a policy which the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) got inserted in the 2019 coalition deal signed with Center and Isamaa, will be.

The date of the vote also moved forward. While it was originally planned to coincide with next fall's local elections, it will now take place in spring, scheduled for April 25, a date which, the national electoral committee says, may have to be put back a month.

EKRE wanted to amend the constitution, which currently makes no mention of marriage, to include this definition, if the voting public – made up of Estonian citizens – agreed to it, but this may not be so simple, since the constitution is safeguarded from easy alteration and has remained as is since it was drawn up in the early 1990s.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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