Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Edgars Rinkēvičs

41-year-old Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Foreign Minister of Latvia, publicly declared that he is gay in a tweet on Thursday, November 7, thus becoming the first openly homosexual cabinet member in the Baltics. He followed up a tweet in Latvian with an English-language version: "I proudly announce I am gay... Good luck all of you...” He went on to say, “Our country has to create a legal status for all kinds of partner relationships, and I will fight for this. I know that there will quickly be mega-hysteria, but #proudtobegay.”

This is a major political statement, because Latvia is one of just a few EU countries with a constitutional amendment (2005) that prohibits same sex marriage; some additional anti-gay legislation has already passed, with more in the works.

While Paris, Hamburg and Berlin have had gay mayors, and Belgium a gay Prime Minister, the former Eastern Bloc countries of the EU remain staunchly conservative, including their views on homosexuality. In Latvia there is open hostility toward gays, who are often attacked on the streets. Thus gays holding positions of influence there generally remain steadfastly closeted.

Latvia is set to assume the rotating presidency of the European Union on January 1, 2015, so this gives Mr. Rinkēvičs an ever higher profile platform for acceptance of homosexuals. He is one of Latvia’s most popular politicians and is a member of the ruling Unity political party. Latvia held elections in October, and Mr. Rinkēvičs’s post as Foreign Minister was just confirmed the day before his twitter reveal. He has served as Foreign Minister of Latvia since 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment