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Latvia's foreign minister just came out on Twitter: "I proudly announce I'm gay"

A pride parade in Riga, Latvia's capital.
A pride parade in Riga, Latvia's capital.
(Ilmars Znotins/AFP/GettyImages)
Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

Latvia's foreign minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs, publicly revealed that he is gay in a tweet on Thursday:

It's real, in case you were wondering: Latvian language site Apollo reported that Rinkēvičs confirmed his account wasn't compromised. Multiple international outlets have also reported the news.

This is significant. According to Marriage Equality USA, Latvia is one of a handful of EU countries with a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In October, its parliament advanced a bill banning sex ed curricula from teaching that same-sex marriages are equal to opposite-sex marriages, and there are plans for a Russia-style bill banning "gay propaganda" in the works. So a top official like this coming out like this is a major political statement.

Meanwhile, in Latvia's eastern neighbor Russia, mobs with tacit government sanction assault gay citizens at will.