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Rokas Žilinskas (20 July 1972 – 6 June 2017[1]) was a Lithuanian journalist and politician. He was elected to the Seimas in 2008 and was a member of the Lithuanian Parliament until his death. He was the first openly gay member of the parliament.[2]

Rokas Žilinskas
Rokas Žilinskas GM8R63731.jpg
Member of the Seimas
In office
17 November 2008 – 6 June 2017
Personal details
Born (1972-07-20)20 July 1972
Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
Died 6 June 2017(2017-06-06) (aged 44)
Vilnius, Lithuania
Political party National Resurrection Party (2008–2011)
Christian Party (2011)
Homeland Union (2011–2017)
Alma mater University of Vilnius



Žilinskas was born in a swimming coach and kindergarten teacher's family. While at school Rokas became interested in geography, later politology and politics. He studied journalism at the University of Vilnius. Before being elected to the Lithuanian Parliament Žilinskas was a well-known Lithuanian news announcer having worked at LNK television from 1998 to 2008.[2]

In 2009, one year after the Parliament elections, Žilinskas openly declared that he was gay, hence becoming the first elected LGBT politician in Lithuania. He, however, expressed disapproval for the equal rights for gays, such as gay marriages and gay adoption,[3] but unexpectedly decided to participate in the first homosexual parade in Vilnius,[4] despite being opposed to it for a long time.[5]

Žilinskas damaged his public image after he cursed at policemen when he was under the influence of alcohol.[6] In 2011, Žilinskas was expelled from the Christian Party, after he was noticed allegedly being drunk in Seimas.[7]

In 2012, he became a member of the conservative Homeland Union[8] and was re-elected to the Seimas that year as well as in 2016.


On 6 June 2017, Žilinskas died at Vilnius University's Santaros Clinic at age 44.[9]

In popular cultureEdit

  • Žilinskas was presented in a British documentary film Starsuckers where he was interviewed.
  • Žilinskas was a subject of parody by a Lithuanian humorist Justinas Jankevičius who parodied Žilinskas's TV-announcer-like way of speaking.


  1. ^ "Mirė Seimo narys R. Žilinskas". Delfi. 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2017-06-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Lithuania's late MP Zilinskas was special figure in politics". The Baltic Times. 2017-06-07. 
  3. ^ "15min naujienos – Suprasti akimirksniu". Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  4. ^ Gabrilavičiūtė, Laura. "R.Žilinskas: mes nebekalbame apie gėjų paradą, mes kalbame apie žmogaus teises (atnaujinta 18.08 val.)". Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "Lithuanian openly gay parliamentarian disapproves of Baltic Pride". Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "Žilinskas neatmeta galimybės dar kartą kreiptis į Lietuvos Aukščiausiąjį Teismą". Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  7. ^ ekspresas, Dienraštis Vakaru. "Seime galimai neblaivus pasirodęs Rokas Žilinskas pašalintas iš partijos -". Dienraštis Vakaru ekspresas. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "Konservatoriai priėmė R.Žilinską, socdemai už homoseksualus kovoja žodžiais". Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  9. ^ "MP Žilinskas passes away". The Lithuania Tribune. 2017-06-07.