Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics (photo: creative commons)
Nobody forced Latvia's foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics to come out as gay and there was no 'hidden agenda', the foreign minister has revealed in an interview.
Rinkevics revealed he was gay on Twitter last Thursday accompanied by the 'hashtag, Proudtobegay. The posting was shared over 1,000 times and led to an outpouring of support worldwide.
"I have heard about various compromising theories, but I can assure you that there is no hidden agenda," Rinkevics told Latvian Radio on Sunday.
"I do not believe that something fundamental should change in people's attitude toward me or other people.
"It is time for us to be more open and honest; believe me that such decisions are not easy to make and can take a long time.
"I contemplated all the positive and negative consequences that may arise due to my decision, and I decided that it is better to be honest and to speak frankly, as well as to urge a discussion about these matters, including registration of partnerships, which is a complicated topic," the minister said.
Rinkevics' decision to come out was a response to the discussions that currently take place among the society and politicians of Latvia, he said. The unsolved issue of registration of same sex partnerships also encouraged him to come out.
Latvia currently bans same sex unions and marriages.
Rinkevics is sure that he will continue working the same way as he used to. He believes that the public reaction will cause controversy, however, he wants to thank everyone who supported him. Rinkevics did not rule out that others might follow his move.
Rinkevics stressed that he is not referring to same-sex marriages. The current issue concerns a legal regulation for partnerships. Rinkevics believes that he could team up with MP Ilze Vinkele (Unity) in order to persuade other deputies to tackle this issue jointly.
However, not everyone is satisfied. Political commentator Karlis Dauksts said the revelation was a 'well-thought-out PR campaign.'
Rinkevics' announcement is aimed at diverting attention from other important issues such as the sale of Citadele bank.
The West will not change its attitude toward Latvia, as similar events have happened there before, for example, former German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle publicly announced being gay as well. However, Russia will aim to discredit the foreign minister even more, Dauksts concluded.
(Edited by Rayyan Sabet-Parry)