Estonian Catholic Group Gathers 40,000 Signatures for “Traditional Marriage”

From LifeSiteNews:

The founder of Estonia’s pro-family movement said in an interview with a Polish Catholic television program that the country’s draft law on same-sex marriage will not go forward after his group presented the government with nearly 40,000 signatures defending traditional marriage. Law professor Varro Vooglaid told Polonia Christiana that presentation of the petition from the Estonian Foundation for Defense of Tradition and Family will not allow the homosexualist ideologues to frame the issue in terms of “human rights”.

According to a report from the site from last month:

Spokesman for the Estonian Foundation for Defense of Family and Tradition, Slawomir Olejniczak, told LifeSiteNews that the petition campaign was the largest and most successful collection of signatures ever carried out in the country of 580,000 households against a proposed change of law.

Petition forms were apparently mailed out to the households.

Olejniczak is Polish rather than Estonian, and he previously organised a direct mail campaign in Poland. Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute (previously blogged by me here) has a profile:

Mr. Olejniczak met TFP bureau in Krakow in 1995 and he started collaboration with the organization one year later. He is one of the founders of two TFP affiliated organizations in Poland. First one was created in 1999 and its name is the Association for Christian Culture of Fr. Peter Skarga [Stowarzyszenie Kultury Chrze?cija?skiej im. ks. Piotra Skargi]. The second organization was founded in 2001 and it is a foundation called the Institute for Social and Religious Education of Fr. Peter Skarga. He is also a President of the Board of Directors for both entities which have become main conservative Catholic movement in the country.

Under his presidency the organizations apart from their public activities started fundraising campaigns in 2001 and after eight years they have achieved over 200.000 donors. In 2005 the Association of Fr. Peter Skarga organized by direct mail a successful protest campaign against legal recognition of  homosexual unions.

“TFP” is “Tradition, Family, and Property”, a well-known right-wing Catholic group that operates in a number of countries – I discussed some of its activities here. The American TFP site has a 2005 piece by Olejniczak here.

Varro Vooglaid, meanwhile, co-directs “Fundamental Rights Protection Centre” (Põhiõiguste Kaitse Keskus), although it doesn’t appear to be very active; he is also a partner in Ignatius, a  Catholic law firm founded by the organisation’s co-founder, Erik Salumäe.

A profile of Vooglaid from Ekspress can be seen here; it includes the detail that he is the son of Ülo Vooglaid, a sociologist; in the 1960s, Ülo Vooglaid founded a Laboratory of Sociology that was closed down by Soviet authorities. A 2004 interview here shows him fulminating about “deviant behaviour”; more recently, a piece in Delfi quotes him warning about European elites and local collaborators supporting “pederastide” (1).


(1) A Russian translation of the same article has “?????????”. The Oxford Russian-English Dictionary translates this as “p(a)ederast, sodomite”, and it appears from Google Translate that the Estonian language has the same conflation of concepts. So, it’s not clear what exactly Ülo Vooglaid means here.

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