Rinkēvičs Sworn In as President of Latvia
This July (2023) 49-year-old Edgars Rinkēvičs took office as President of
Latvia, becoming the first openly gay head of state in a European Union
country. He won the national election in May. Your blogger is more than
weary of bad news, so this lifts his spirits all the more, because East
European countries are generally more conservative and less accepting of
gays (Hungary and Turkey, for example). Rinkēvičs was already involved
in Latvian politics when he announced he was gay on Twitter in 2014. He
speaks fluent English and earned a masters degree from the U.S. National
Defense University in Washington DC in the year 2000.
Latvia, located on the Baltic Sea, is a member of both NATO and the EU and supports Ukraine's efforts to stave off Russian aggression. As well, Latvia is a member of the IMF and United Nations. Latvia, once forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union, regained its independence in 1991. It is noteworthy that Latvia borders both Russia and Belarus.