WorldViews: Gay rights in eastern Europe just took a big step forward

By Michael Birnbaum, November 6, 2014

MOSCOW — Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics announced Thursday that he was gay, breaking a barrier in Eastern Europe’s socially conservative political arena.

The declaration, made via a cheerful Twitter posting, immediately gave gay rights advocates a prominent voice in post-Soviet Eastern Europe. The region — where openly gay public figures are a rarity — has significantly lagged behind the United States and Western Europe in its acceptance of same-sex relationships.

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