Former Unity board member provokes storm with twitter rant

Take note – story published 9 years ago

A Kandava local representative of the Unity political party of Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma raised a storm Tuesday after an online discussion among fellow party members spiralled into highly questionable statements on homophobia and Nazi eugenics. 

In a Twitter discussion with party colleagues Monday night that included former Welfare Minister Ilze Viņķele, the subject wandered onto the possibility of same-sex partnerships being introduced in Latvia - something which the central Kurzeme province town party organization leader Inga Priede - until recently a Unity board member - claimed had put country dwellers "into shock".

Challenged on the point she said she approved of homosexuals having to leave the country as a result of opposition to homosexuality in society at large.

"Thank god - at one time, the Germans shot them. It improves fertility," Priede said in a tweet that was subsequently deleted and replaced with a call for "Christian values."

Priede was immediately warned by Viņķele and others that her comments were inappropriate and might amount to a incitement to hate crimes. While announcing her resignation from the party's executive board, she failed to note the fact that the powers of the previous Unity board have in fact already lost effect and the party will rule on whether to even keep Priede on board as a member at this weekend's congress. Thus her resignation is completely moot, said one of the party's leading politicians Solvita Āboltiņa.

Unity general secretary Artis Kampars said Priede's words were "categorically unacceptable and contrary to the position of Unity." 

The outburst is particularly embarrassing for Unity coming less than a month after Priede's fellow party colleague Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics became the first high-profile politician in Eastern Europe to state publicly that he is gay.

The landmark revelation received widespread praise from the international political community.


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