In an interview given to regional daily Lääne Elu, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) declined to say whether he would vote in favor of or against the bill to repeal Estonia's gender-neutral Registered Partnership Act. He expressed his conviction, however, that the law would not be repealed by neither the current nor the subsequent Riigikogu.
"The Registered Partnership Act will not be repealed with this composition of the Riigikogu — with this [government] coalition," Ratas told the regional paper. "The truth is also that this coalition or composition of the Riigikogu in all likelihood will also not pass the implementing provisions of the Registered Partnership Act. This, in a good or bad sense, will be the interim composition."
The prime minister noted that the Center Party is part of the coalition which has been unable to reach a consensus concerning the issue. "I think that the next composition of the Riigikogu will not repeal the Registered Partnership Act," he added.
Asked if he himself would vote in favor of or against the repeal bill, Ratas, who is also chairman of the Center Party, said that this was a difficult question as initiators of the Registered Partnership Act included members of the Center Party parliamentary group.
"I definitely think that we must look at it within the societal context — that a step taken would be difficult to undo," Ratas said.
Delay of implementing acts measurable in years
While Estonia does not allow same-sex marriages, it recognizes same-sex marriages concluded elsewhere. The country's own gender-neutral Registered Partnership Act was passed three years ago, on Oct. 9, 2014, and entered into force on Jan. 1, 2016 — over a year and a half ago — however its implementing acts have yet to be adopted by the Riigikogu.
The first reading of the act's implementing provisions took place on Nov. 25, 2015, after which it was decided that discussion of the provisions would continue in the Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, where the most recent discussion on the matter took place on Jan. 21, 2016.
Editor: Aili Vahtla