Kallas: Marriage equality decision will end years of injustice

Kaja Kallas.
Kaja Kallas. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said in an interview with "AK" that the amendment to the Family Law Act will finally resolve the injustice that has persisted since the failure to adopt the cohabitation act's implementing legislation.

A marriage referendum was on the conservative agenda two and a half years ago. Could you imagine the Family Law Act being amended in the spring of 2023?

Not even imagined.

This was not a campaign promise of the Reform Party and you were not very united today [Reform Party member Aivar Sõerd abstained - ed].

Only one member voted against the consensus.

It does not deprive anyone of anything but it does grant fundamental rights to those who lacked them previously, so that everyone has equal rights. I believe it makes Estonia better. 

Can Reform guarantee that future Reform coalitions will not end same-sex marriage?

The granted rights to people cannot be revoked. If everyone has equal rights, I don't see why they should be further deliberated. I trust this decision will resolve the injustice that has existed since the failure to adopt the cohabitation act's implementing legislation, and put an end to this dispute permanently.

In every country where it has been adopted, people have seen that being married or having the legal right to marry has no negative effects. People are not deprived of anything and their lives continue. I think that applies to us as well.

Conservatives, however, say that society is divided. Are you convinced that this topic will lose its relevance in the future?

Yes, I am convinced that if all people are afforded equal rights, the couples who are already married would recognize that nothing has been taken away from them and that their lives will go on as usual.

I hope we can all work together to make it possible for couples to formally register their relationship, for people who have who have mutual affection; that is not a problem, in my opinion.

The spring has been vibrant and the filibuster has been as well. On September 11, the legislature will resume. Do you have a summer strategy to appease the opposing party so that you can move on in a calm, reasoned manner?

I hope the summer provides everyone with a chance to unwind. In reality, however, the fall sessions are already overflowing with submitted questions and bills. All issues, including the national budget, will require discussion. When the intention is solely to obstruct the government's work, it is indeed difficult to discuss.

As mandated by the Riigikogu, this government was elected in accordance with the law and appointed in accordance with the Constitution. If a majority is obtained in the Riigikogu, a vote of no confidence can be implemented if the current government is deemed unsuitable. Today, this did not happen; we have to permit everyone to carry out their duties.

Do you think voters will see the same thing in the fall as they did in the spring?

I sincerely hope not. It has been exhausting for everyone. We will see, but both parties must be willing to collaborate.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Kristina Kersa

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