59 public figures send open letter defending traditional marriage

One of the founding member of PESA, former Justice Minister Lea Danilson-Järg attending and Isamaa protesting meeting last Monday.
One of the founding member of PESA, former Justice Minister Lea Danilson-Järg attending and Isamaa protesting meeting last Monday. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The recently created conservative PESA think tank on Monday presented the Riigikogu with an open letter signed by 59 public figures where the undersigned ask the parliament not to change the concept of marriage should the government present the Riigikogu with a corresponding bill.

Martin Ehala, one of the initiators of the open letter, member of the PESA think tank and head of Postimees' opinion editorial, said that the letter points out that making decisions regarding the question of marriage hurriedly and without a public debate adds to confrontation and rifts in society. "The government's decision to introduce this bill in the currently difficult security situation is highly irresponsible," Ehala said.

PESA member, University of Tartu political scientist Martin Mölder added that there is no overriding support for such a change among MPs or voters. "Marriage mostly stands for family, while family is primarily understood as a man, woman and their children," Mölder emphasized.

Other undersigned include former Justice Minister Lea Danilson-Järg (Isamaa); writers Indrek Hargla, Hando Runnel and Indrek Hirv; composers and musicians Sven Grünberg, Jaak-Eik Tulve and Tõnis Mägi; actors Liina Olmaru and Lembit Peterson; artists Maarja Undusk and Mati Karmin; scientists Heiki Valk, Marju Kõivupuu and Riin Seema; businessmen Indrek Neivelt and Heldur Meerits; veteran politicians Tunne Kelam and Jüri Adams; and jurist and former Justice Minister Jüri Raidla.

The founding members of PESA are former Justice Minister Lea Danilson-Järg (Isamaa), Martin Ehala, Cornelia Kangur, Mihkel Kunnus, Martin Mölder, Indrek Neivelt, Helen Rebane, Lauri Vahtre and Maarja Vaino.

The PESA think tank was created on April 28 to promote core values that serve as guarantors of the sustainable development of the Estonian people, culture, economy and environment.

The government on Monday approved the bill to amend the Family Act and other associated acts, which it plans to send to the parliament.

The bill will allow two adults to marry irrespective of their gender, while people will also retain the possibility of entering into a registered partnership. Registered partners will be able to get married in simplified procedure.

The law is set to enter into force from January 1, 2024.

A poll commissioned by the Estonian Human Rights Center and carried out by Turu-uuringute AS in 2023 found that overall, 53 percent of respondents supported same-sex marriage compared to 47 percent in the last survey carried out in 2021.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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