The move is a surprising one, given that Latvia, a country with a population around 2 million, is located in ultraconservative Eastern Europe where the politics are notoriously antigay. In fact, homosexual activity was downright illegal in Latvia until 1992 when the country regained its independence from the Soviet Union.
Rinkevics’s announcement appears to be part of a larger agenda. The Huffington Post reports that prior to his Thursday coming-out tweet — which said simply “I proudly announce I’am [sic] gay… Good luck all of you…” — the politician had taken to Twitter to express his view that Latvia “has created a legal framework for all types of partnerships [and] will fight for it. I know there will be immediate mega-hysteria, but #Proudtobegay.”
Latvia has had a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage since 2005. Rinkevics has held his position as foreign minister since 2011.