Parliament refuses conservative motion to have a referendum on civil partnerships

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Small protest against civil partnership law near the parliament on MondayFoto: Rauno Volmar

Estonian parliament makes another effort to debate and move on with civil partnership legislation. First hurdle passed.

Parliamentary debate on the bill that would allow gender-neutral civil partnerships in Estonia, picked up today from where it was left yesterday.

First up was a motion to put the draft law on a nation-wide referendum, an initiative introduced by conservative opposition party IRL with the all-too-clear aim on killing the legislation.

However, the 101-member parliament decided to reject this motion this afternoon by 42 votes to 35.

The parliament then moved on to debating the actual civil partnership bill itself. Given strong opposition from conservative IRL as well as some other MPs - which was demonstrated by dragging parliamentary process yesterday - discussions will probably be no smoother today.

The proposed bill regulates financial, inheritance, and care rights for cohabiting couples, regardless of their sex.