Editorial: Registered Partnership Act – the battle is on

Demonstration with large flag in front of Riigikogu on Tuesday November 24th as partnership act implementation bill begun to be deliberated inside the building.


Postimees stands for same sex couples to get needed legal protection for their partnership. Option to register same sex partnership robs no family of anything. 

The Registered Partnership Act passed last year enters into force on January 1st 2016. The text requiring implementation clauses, these are now being debated at Riigikogu. All in all, 85 acts would be altered, including specifications to citizenship act and court procedures alteration. This takes Riigikogu majority i.e. 51 votes.

As shown by the vote yesterday, at least at the moment nine votes are missing. To pass the bill, two options are on the table. To seek for votes among those who now abstained or were for dropping the bill from agenda. Here, they are talking about all kinds of bargaining going on.

The other would be extracting such clauses a require 51 votes «for» and have it at the simple majority among those present. The bulk of this would concern civil proceeding. The issue is: would same sex couples afterwards run into practical trouble.

Another option is nullifying the Registered Partnership Act (RPA) and creating a new one such as suggested by the Free – a «coupleship» act. While supporters of RPA hastened to denounce that, this is a third way i.e. seeking a compromise in an atmosphere of utmost confrontation. This bill also offers legal protection to same sex couples.

Another option exists. According notaries Priidu Pärna all who wish can get registered in New Year with or without the implementation clauses. He argues against overregulation and for increased liberties: «Always, an alternative to law amendments is interpretation of law. This is the territory for the bold. Daily, a judge or a notary is seeking the spirit and the point of the law.»

Riigikogu members and interest groups representatives might give up mutual insults and empty slogans. The reasons somebody stands for or against a bill are more than one. Doubtless, neither the RPA to be nor the implementation acts are examples if ideal legislation. Neither is any critic a «phobe». For the sake of compromises, better not label your opponents.