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Edgars Rinkevics: European Union’s first brazenly homosexual head of state sworn in as Latvia’s president | World Information

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The European Union’s first brazenly homosexual head of state has been sworn in in Latvia.

Edgars Rinkevics served as overseas minister from 2011 and was sworn in as president on Saturday after his election in Might.

Mr Rinkevics got here out publicly in 2014, posting on Twitter: “I proudly announce I’m homosexual… Good luck all of you.”

On the time he pledged to struggle for homosexual individuals to have equal relationship rights.

Identical-sex marriage shouldn’t be authorized in Latvia, however civil partnerships have been accessible to homosexual {couples} since final yr.

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Latvia’s presidency is basically a ceremonial put up and the pinnacle of state acts primarily as an opinion chief and uniting determine within the nation.

The president’s obligations embody representing Latvia overseas, appearing because the supreme commander of the armed forces, signing payments into legislation, and nominating the prime minister.

The EU has had brazenly homosexual individuals elected as heads of presidency earlier than – together with Eire’s Leo Varadkar – however by no means a homosexual head of state.

Many nations have two individuals performing the roles of head of state and head of presidency – within the UK, the King is head of state.

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In his inaugural speech on Saturday, Mr Rinkevics pledged “to face up for a contemporary and powerful Latvia, for a authorized and simply Latvia, for the wellbeing of the individuals, for an inclusive and respectful society”.

He added: “The rights of each individual have to be revered and guarded in accordance with the very best human rights values and requirements.”

He additionally vowed to proceed Latvia’s assist for the “heroic Ukrainian individuals”, saying the nation’s overseas coverage “doesn’t have time for errors”.

Mr Rinkevics, 49, is the seventh president of Latvia, a nation of 1.8 million that has been a member of the EU and NATO because it regained its independence in 1991.

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