Ilze Viņķele is a Latvian politician, former Minister for Welfare of Latvia. She is a member of the liberal, pro-EU political party Unity. She currently serves on board of liberal political movement PAR! (English: 'FOR!')
'A controversial new children's book is teaching kids alternative notions of gender to encourage greater equality. But critics say the book endangers traditional notions of the family and promotes homosexuality. [...] But the games the children are playing are among the games and activities suggested by a book of two children's stories called "The Day when Ruth was Richard" and "The Day when Karl was Caroline."' The book was introduced under the reign of Welfare Minister Ilze Vinkele.
Ilze Viņķele participated in Baltic Pride 2012 together with Minister of Foreign Affairs. Quote from the article: "Several politicians were present for the festivities, including Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs at the rally, and Minister of Welfare Ilze Viņķele and Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs at a reception."
In 2011, it was reported that a gay-marriage bill was to be passed in the legislature. The bill was promoted by one of the Latvian groups for LGBT-rights. However, the bill was not passed to the parliament for approval. In May 2012, Latvia’s Minister for Welfare Ilze Viņķele said that a registration procedure for gay couples needed to be established. Moreover, Latvia’s Defense Minister Artis Pabriks also spoke out in favor of gay-marriage legalization.
54 non-governmental organizations in Latvia submitted a joint letter to top state officials of Latvia, protesting the Welfare Ministry's support for the publication and distribution of children's books that are "ruinous to gender identity" and "tendentious", demanding in the letter that Welfare Minister Ilze Viņķele (Unity) step down. [... ]The books in question mix up gender identity matters, and show that it is normal for boys to play with toys for girls and for girls to play boys' games and to behave like boys. [...] The letter notes that in the books, boys are given girls' names, and vice versa, therefore implying sex change and being generally in line with the "continuing efforts to popularize homosexual trends".
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