Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Latvia elects first openly gay president of a Baltic nation

Latvian lawmakers elected Edgars Rinkevics, the country’s top diplomat since 2011, as president to serve for a four-year term. He received 52 votes, one vote more than required to win. 

Rinkevics, who announced in 2014 that he is “proudly” homosexual, will be the first openly gay president in the Baltic nations.

After the vote, Rinkevics tweeted that he was “honored and humbled” by the Parliament’s decision and pledged “to serve the people of Latvia well.”

Rinkevics served as foreign minister, and he has enjoyed high popularity among Latvians because of his hard stance toward neighboring Russia and his unwavering support for Ukraine.

A Baltic nation of 1.9 million, Latvia borders Russia to the east, Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south. Latvia has been a member of NATO and the European Union since 2004.

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