Call for action - support same-sex partnership rights in Estonia

05/01/2006

Estonian LGBT activists ask your support in their campaign for the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.

Dear friends,

Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs has called upon a public debate over gay-marriages/partnerships. As the new Family Law is being processed at the moment and this new law declares marriage only as an institution between a man and a woman, discriminating gay couples by a) not letting them to marry; b) to get married in a country which allows same-sex marriages/partnerships.

As a direct result of such law, 5 Estonian NGO's have signed a public letter to our authorities asking them to remove discriminating clause from the law and to initiate a new law for same-sex partners.

We kindly ask you to support us in this very important moment of testing Estonian readiness to be a European country and show some tolerance.

At this very point our sole demand is to initiate a new law for partnership and we encourage you to send in petitions, open letters etc to the following addresses/people:

Mr. Jaak Aab, Minister of Social Affairs - Jaak.Aab@sm.ee
Mr. Rein Lang, Minister of Justice - rein.lang@just.ee
Mr. Allar Jõks, Chancellor of Justice - info@oiguskantsler.ee
Ms. Ene Ergma, Speaker of Riigikogu (parliament) - ene.ergma@riigikogu.ee
Commission of Constitution - pohiseaduskom@riigikogu.ee
Commission of Social Affairs - sotsiaalkom@riigikogu.ee
Center Party in the Parliament - keskfr@riigikogu.ee
Reform Party in the Parliament - reformfr@riigikogu.ee
Social Democratic Party in the Parliament - sotsiaaldemokraadid@riigikogu.ee

CC of all sent materials should also be sent to: lisette@diversity.ee

An example of the letter:

To Whom It May Concern

Europe has gone through a long way in order to secure equal opportunities for all the members of the society and Estonia has shown its interest to be a part of such Europe. Equal opportunities means more than to have citizenship, to be protected against violence and to have a right to vote. The most humanly need is to share your life with another person and this need has given birth to an institution called marriage. The terms of such institution have changed based on the citizens needs. At this very moment app. 4-6% of Estonian society has sent a clear message of having a strong need for an institution that would define the partners' rights and obligations in same-sex families. Family, it means love, safe home, socially secured position, common values of humanity, protection of children and assets - what kind of country would not want to support such an initiative?

We encourage you to actively take part in the public debate over same-sex partnership law in Estonia and support every effort for such law to be initiated.  
We demand you to stop ignoring the issues and problems of same-sex families and help to develop a more tolerant and equal society, an appropriate society of a member state of the EU.  

LGBT organizations in Europe will surely be monitoring the developments in the public debates and we are fully supporting our Estonian colleagues on their way to democracy and equal opportunities.

Kindly,

We thank you in advance for your support. This is truly a momentous period in Estonia's history and we appreciate your participation!
Please feel free to spread the letter amongst your colleagues in other organizations.

With all the best for 2006,
Lisette Kampus

lisette@diversity.ee
+37258177608
+48888443618
www.gay.ee

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