Will Estonia legalise same-sex marriage?
The legal extension of marriage to same-sex couples in Estonia was already part of the coalition negotiations between election winner Kaja Kallas' Reform Party, the Social Democrats and the centrist Estonia 200 party. The new government has introduced a proposal to this effect in parliament, where it is now the subject of heated debate. We take a look at the comments in the national press.
The beginning of evil
Historian Lauri Vahtre denies in Postimees accusations that he is homophobic just because he denounces same-sex marriage as a gateway to polygamy and other social changes:
“Once same-sex marriage becomes legal, there is no reason why marriage should only be between two partners. ... First the situation where a child has more than two legal parents is legalised and then it's just a small step to polygamous marriage. The [transsexual] man who enters the women's changing rooms after your daughter does too. According to today's progressive and tolerant activists those like me who warn of the dangers are plagued by 'homophobia', which is unfortunately the most primitive explanation there could be.”
The family is under threat from other causes
Men who denounce gay marriage while insisting on traditional family values have more important things to worry about, anthropologist Sandra Vokk stresses in Eesti Päevaleht:
“As long as domestic violence, sexual abuse and prostitution are widespread in our society, Estonian men have no moral right to lecture about family values. It is not only unconvincing but hypocritical and inappropriate. Therefore, revered men of power, science and religion, please do the world a favour and don't start trying to 'save' it with traditional values unless you intend to tackle the root causes of violence, abuse of power and broken relationships.”
What actually hurts opponents' feelings?
Sirp editor-in-chief Kaarel Tarand can't understand why people get so upset about the different interpretations of the term marriage:
“The most heated debate in society in years revolves around the meaning of a single word. Everyone undoubtedly has the inalienable right to express their pain, but I have yet to fully understand what the personal pain is, where it hurts and what breaks down in a person's life when two men or two women live together as equals in the same flat, in the same village or in a distant city.”