MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) - Latvia’s foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics confirmed he is gay in a message posted on his Twitter page. He became the first Latvian politician to disclose his homosexual orientation.
"I proudly announce I am gay… Good luck all of you…" he wrote on Thursday. "I know, a megahysteria is coming," he added.
I proudly announce I'am gay... Good luck all of you...— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) 6 ноября 2014
The minister also underscored that it is very important to establish a legal basis for all kinds of partnership in Latvia.
"We will fight for it," he said.
In a television interview, the minister said that his Twitter account was not hacked and he revealed the truth.
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves praised Rinkevics’ courage.
"A very brave man and a very good foreign minister," he wrote on Twitter.
A very brave man and a very good foreign minister: @edgarsrinkevics— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) 7 ноября 2014
According to media reports, in 2011, Rinkevics refused to answer questions on his marital status and family, citing that he separated his personal life from his public affairs. Journalists reported that Rinkevics, 41, was not married and lived with his mother.
In 2011, it was reported that a gay-marriage bill was to be passed in the legislature. The bill was promoted by one of the Latvian groups for LGBT-rights. However, the bill was not passed to the parliament for approval. In May 2012, Latvia’s Minister for Welfare Ilze Vinkele said that a registration procedure for gay couples needed to be established. Moreover, Latvia’s Defense Minister Artis Pabriks also spoke out in favor of gay-marriage legalization.
Previously, some prominent European politicians have come out publicly as gay, among them, German former foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and the Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit. Recently, Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, confirmed he is gay and consider his homosexuality to be one of his "greatest gifts" from God.