The Obama Administration has been on a roll naming gay ambassadorial nominees, usually with little notice. Then came the choice of James “Wally” Brewster, a major Obama donor and national LGBT co-chair of the Democatic National Committee, as ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
Religious groups in the country have objected to Brewster solely because he’s gay. Perhaps the biggest offender has been Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, the Roman Catholic leader in the country. At a press conference, Rodriguez called Brewster a “maricón,” which is usually translated as “faggot.” Not content to leave it at that, the Cardinal’s sidekick, Monsignor Pablo Cedano decided to chime in.
“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.”
No, why would we ever think that.
Homosexuality is not criminalized in the Dominican Republic, but marriage equality is not the law either. Some critics charge that Brewster’s appointment is a sneaky way for Obama to impose it on the country.
“Obama knows that a large majority of the Dominican population rejects that two people of the same sex can unite in matrimony and form a family,” newspaper columnist José Alberto Ortíz wrote. “As it is not possible to convince the population of his ideology, he has opted to impose it, a typical act of an imperialist government.”
All this, and Brewster hasn’t even been approved by the Senate yet, let alone showed up at the embassy. The Dominican government has said it’s fine with Brewster’s appointment. Still, Brewster has had a bumpy ride for what is usually a cushy thank-you present.
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