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Edgars Rinkevics sworn in as EU’s first openly gay President

Edgars Rinkevics, the former foreign minister of Latvia, has been sworn in as the eleventh president of Latvia since its independence in 1991. Rinkevics, who openly announced his sexual orientation as gay in 2014, becomes one of Europe’s few LGBTQ+ heads of state. Known for his firm stance on Russia and support for Ukraine, Rinkevics assumes the presidency for a four-year term following the departure of Egils Levits, the previous president who did not seek re-election.

A Landmark for LGBTQ+ Representation

Rinkevics proudly declared his sexual orientation as gay on Twitter in 2014, making him one of the few openly LGBTQ+ heads of state in Europe. Rinkevics’ presidency symbolizes progress in LGBTQ+ representation and acceptance in the region. Attitudes towards sexual minorities in Baltic nations and eastern Europe have historically been less tolerant than in western Europe. Rinkevics, having gained popularity during his 12-year tenure as foreign minister, brings his extensive diplomatic experience to the presidency.

Key takeaways for competitive examinations

  • Latvia joined the European Union in: 2004
  • Headquarters of the European Union: Brussels
  • Prime Minister of Latvia: Krišjānis Kariņš

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