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Catholic Cardinal refers to gay U.S. Ambassador nominee as ‘faggot’

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — President Barack Obama’s choice of openly gay nominee, James “Wally” Brewster as Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, has touched off a firestorm of criticism including from Catholic Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, who referred to Brewster in Spanish as a “maricón” — a slur usually translated as “faggot.”

The Cardinal’s remarks came during a televised press conference last Thursday.

Telemundo
Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez

Monsignor Paul Cedano, speaking at the same press conference, said Brewster would experience such an unpleasant stay in the Dominican Republic that he will have to return home.

“I hope he does not arrive in the country because I know if he comes he is going to suffer and will have to leave,” Cedano said.

He called it “a lack of respect” that Obama “sent … a person of this kind as an ambassador,” adding, “[W]e don’t despise the person.”

U.S. Embassy spokesman Daniel Foote said in a brief statement 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.

Dominican President Danilo Medina’s administration had initially declined to comment on the issue.

But on Monday, however, Cesar Pina, an official with the Medina administration said it would be “indelicate” to reject Brewster if he is confirmed. Pina added that the Medina administration had signed off on Brewster’s nomination before it was publicly announced.

If confirmed by the Senate, Brewster, who was nominated by Obama on June 21, would be the seventh U.S. ambassador in history to be openly gay.

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