IRL backs EELK's proposal to define marriage in Constitution ({{commentsTotal}})

IRL Secretary General Priit Sibul (left) and Chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder (right).
IRL Secretary General Priit Sibul (left) and Chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder (right). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Junior coalition partner Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) is in favor of a proposal of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) to amend the Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The statement adopted by the Council of the EELK, according to which marriage should be defined in the Constitution as a union of one man and one woman, is consistent with the principles of the party, IRL Secretary General Priit Sibul told BNS on Wednesday.

"We have always stood up for family and marriage," Sibul said. "Therefore, marriage has also been defined as a union of one man and one woman in the world view document approved by the board of IRL. Granting marriage constitutional protection will ensure that traditional values are protected. Marriage is a value for each human being with a conscience. This proposal will also give a chance to the proponents of the Registered Partnership Act, who claimed that registered partnership has nothing to do with marriage."

According to Sibul, IRL drew attention to the need to constitutionally protect marriage in 2016 already. "The current makeup of the Riigikogu is the same as then, therefore amending the Constitution continues to be difficult. Despite this, we will continue seeking the support of other political parties for this proposal."

The Estonian Human Rights Centre, meanwhile, has slammed the initiative of the Lutheran church as painting an incorrect picture of the key problems Estonian society faces and being focused on depriving minorities of equal opportunities instead of focusing on serious social problems.

"The church together with quite a few loud-voiced politicians have found the Registered Partnership Act, which has to do with the cohabitation of a few hundred people, to be the most burning issue — not the problems of people with disabilities, not the children living in poverty, not the creating of opportunities for minorities," Kari Kasper, head of the Human Rights Center, told BNS.

The Council of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) in a vote on Tuesday approved a statement according to which the EELK supports the amendment of the Estonian Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

39 of those present at the council voted in favor of the statement; five were against it, and four abstained.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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