Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Dominican religious groups reject gay U.S. ambassador nominee

Friday, June 28, 2013

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Religious groups in the Dominican Republic said Friday they are outraged by the nomination of a gay U.S. ambassador to the conservative Caribbean country.

James “Wally” Brewster would be the seventh U.S. ambassador in history to be openly gay, but opponents are asking the administration of Dominican President Danilo Medina to reject his nomination.

US Embassy, via APJames “Wally” Brewster

Rev. Cristobal Cardozo, leader of the Dominican Evangelical Fraternity, said he worried about the message that Brewster’s presence might send.

“It’s an insult to good Dominican customs,” he said.

Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, president of the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate, echoed similar sentiments.

“You can expect anything from the U.S.,” said Lopez, who is also the archbishop of Santo Domingo.

Meanwhile, Vicar Pablo Cedano criticized the nomination as “a lack of respect, of consideration, that they send us that kind of person as ambassador.”

“If he arrives, he’ll suffer and will be forced to leave,” Cedano warned, without elaborating.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Daniel Foote said in a brief statement to reporters that Brewster was nominated because of his skills as an international businessman and his ideas on democracy and human rights.

“Brewster arrives as an ambassador, he’s not coming here as an activist for the gay community,” Foote said.

Local gay and lesbian activists condemned the outrage, saying the words of religious officials were filled with hate.

Nominating a gay man as ambassador should be viewed as normal, according to a statement by the umbrella nonprofit LGBT Collective.

The groups’ stance “contrasts with the silence maintained by prelates and pastors when it comes to sexual assaults on children,” said Leonardo Sanchez, of the nonprofit gay group Friends, Always Friends.

Officials with Medina’s administration have declined to comment on the i ssue.

“It would be in bad taste for the state to comment on this nomination,” said Cesar Pina, a judicial consultant to the presidency.

Brewster is currently a senior managing partner for the Chicago consulting firm SB&K Global. He also was a fundraiser for Obama and an inaugural committee contributor.

© 2013, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: ,

Filed under: North America

25 more reader comments:

  1. And do we really care? Is the Dominican Republic a third world country? Maybe send their ambassador back to DR?

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 3:51pm
  2. They should reject our aid while they’re at it.

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 3:55pm
  3. This doesn’t surprise me, unfortunately :/ Attitudes are very much like this down there.

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 3:57pm
  4. I think we can’t compromise our principles to make idiots happy, be they bigots at home or closet cases with nuclear missiles in Russia.

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 3:59pm
  5. Attitudes are just like this right here in the good ole US of A. But the important thing is that the Dominican Government accepted his nomination. The Catholic Church does not speak for the Dominican people.

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 3:59pm
  6. Yeah, well I’m outraged that they are a “conservative Caribbean country.” What’s “conservative” even mean except you think your rights should trump those of others?

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 4:05pm
  7. In terms of his safety…it might be best if he asks for a gay-friendly island…let them be without a U.S. ambassador and our aid.

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 4:09pm
  8. Can`t wait to move from DR to USA :/

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 4:11pm
  9. I say fuck em no more $$$! dirty broke ass clild labor/prostituing pig fuckers!

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 4:27pm
  10. no aid if they reject our ambassador he represnets the COUNTRY not his lifestyle

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 4:43pm
  11. Good,let them…far as I am concerned a nation that rejects an American appointee to an American diplomatic post should not be the benefactor of any US aid or favored status policies. If we are going to be so strident about human rights, let’s do it right.

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 5:07pm
  12. It’s time to stop using the word ‘conservative’, as above, when what you actually mean is backward, small-minded and bigoted, as in this instance.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:28pm
  13. Shameful religious BIGOTS!!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:29pm
  14. I agree David

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:30pm
  15. Why would anyone spend time and money in such backward country!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:36pm
  16. My country sucks :/

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:37pm
  17. It’s funny, the other side of that island is more tolerant.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:45pm
  18. Have you spoken to every Dominican? Or are you being ignorant by assuming that a Few Christian priest speak for the whole country?

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:47pm
  19. I’m confused. Were their women planning on having sex with him?

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:49pm
  20. Now now, we shouldn’t judge the entire country based on a few religious groups. In that regard,we’re not much better, though we have made a few leaps and bounds.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 1:51pm
  21. My people are so behind with the times :-/

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 2:03pm
  22. All I would add is reject the ambassador then reject the foreign aid that comes with him. End of story.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 2:14pm
  23. @Heriberto Rodriguez Jr. …. I’m happy to wait and see what the Dominican Republic’s government (DR) does in response to President Obama’s gay American Ambassador nominee …. if the Dominican Republic’s government does not accept the gay nominee, then my judgment is correct …. and if they do, then you are correct. However, given the general homophobic culture of the Dominican Republic, I will not be surprised if they reject President Obama’s nominee. By the way Heriberto, most gay travel groups in the United States advise gay Americans to stay away from the Dominican Republic because the country is so homophobic! I will spend my money in another more gay friendly country!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 3:45pm
  24. Who cares if any country approves or rejects our choice of ambassador? If this nation-the USA-is finally coming into the enlightened age of American citizen rights for all of us, then we must not bow to outside influences. Does anyone seriously think every foreign nation approved of a woman as Secretary of State? You know they did not, but they had to deal with it. Far as I’m concerned, close their diplomatic mission(s) in this nation, take the nation off any favored status lists they may or may not be on,close diplomatic and visa missions and offices there,advise US citizens to not travel to their nation, cut off the foreign aid and get on with our lives. The Dominican Republic is not a vital enough ally or friend-obviously-to this nation to compromise our integrity,such as it is,over. If we cave on this, then we are saying that what we are attempting to do in this nation as far as citizen rights go, is worth nothing.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 5:51pm
  25. Of course we should not judge the entire Dominicxan Republic and their people based on this reaction…BUT this is one government attempting to dictate to another government what they do and do not find acceptable, based on their personal beliefs. That, at every level, is what bigotry is. Every action has a reaction,and consequences.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 5:56pm