Baltic state selects first openly gay president in EU

Latvia has chosen long-time FM Edgars Rinkevics, who came out as gay in 2014, to be its new head of state

Baltic state selects first openly gay president in EU

Baltic state selects first openly gay president in EU

Former FM Edgars Rinkevics has become Latvia’s new head of state

The Latvian parliament on Wednesday chose Edgars Rinkevics as the Baltic country’s next president, after incumbent Egils Levits chose not to run for a second term. Rinkevics will be the first openly homosexual head of an EU member state.

“fundamental values,” clashing with members such as Hungary and Poland over laws upholding traditional families. Latvia’s parliament has yet to vote on a bill that would approve civil unions between same-sex couples, according to Bloomberg.

Along with its Baltic neighbors Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia used to be part of the Russian Empire until 1918, and of the Soviet Union in 1940-41, and again between 1945 and 1991. The Baltic republics have insisted that the Soviet period amounted to illegal occupation, and have glorified those who collaborated with Nazi Germany as patriots, while banning celebrations of victory over the Third Reich and demolishing Red Army monuments and cemeteries.