EU’s first gay president – level 3

13-07-2023 07:00

Edgars Rinkevics, the former foreign minister of Latvia, has been sworn in as the country’s president, becoming the first openly gay head of state in the European Union.

While the role is mostly ceremonial, the president has the power to veto legislation and call referendums. Rinkevics, who publicly came out in 2014, has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. Despite gay marriage being illegal in Latvia, the constitutional court recognized same-sex unions last year.

In his inaugural speech, Rinkevics pledged to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and emphasized the need to address social inequality. He expressed his commitment to creating a modern, just, and inclusive Latvia. Rinkevics succeeds Egils Levits and will represent Latvia at the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Difficult words: veto (to reject something), vocal advocate (a person who publicly supports a particular cause or policy), inaugural speech (the first speech someone gives when starting an important new job).

You can watch the video news lower on this page.

What steps will President Rinkevics take to create an inclusive Latvia?


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