Gay US ambassador to Dominican Republic comes under fire from Catholic Church
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Gay US ambassador to Dominican Republic comes under fire from Catholic Church

In what has played out as a  long running saga since his appointment as U.S. ambassador in the Dominican Republic, James “Wally” Brewster, an openly gay man, has been criticized in a new letter published by members of the Catholic Church.

The recent repertoire of gay abuse comes in form of a letter published in The Washington Blade on January 7, urging the Dominican Government to declare the U.S. ambassador a ‘persona non grata’.

The publication was assembled by a group of two dozen Dominican intellectuals and religious leaders.

Having being sent to President Danilo Medina’s administration and the Dominican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the letter specifically cites the “intent” of the White House and the U.N. “to create the right conditions to morally deprive our adolescents in school by imposing upon them sexuality classes that have as basic text a manual that invites children to begin practicing gay and lesbian practices while in secondary school.”

“This initiative to turn our adolescents gay early on is an initiative of the U.S. government that is run by a homosexual and represented by another homosexual in the Dominican Republic,” reads the letter that Al Momento, a Dominican newspaper, published on its website on Wednesday.

The letter criticizes the ambassador and his husband, Bob Satawake, for “freely” taking part in last year’s Pride parade in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo.

The letter also references a picture of “a group” of gay men who were “semi-naked and hugging each other” in the pool of Brewster and Satawake’s official residence.

“We view this invitation to public homosexuality as an indecency and a lack of decorum that shames the modesty of the majority of the Dominican population that neither shares in homosexual practices or practices their sexuality in promiscuous environments,” the letter stated.

Defense and support 

Dominican LGBT groups have voiced their support and hit back at those who signed the letter.

“The absurd and homo/lesbo/bi/transphobic violence that takes place every day in practically the entire country and its institutions, including those who call themselves progressive, is found in the intellectuals’ letter that is calling for the U.S. ambassador’s head,” the statement reads. “It is evident that while many families; schools and churches do not encourage these expressions of violence, they allow them to take place.”

Ty Cobb, Human Rights Campaign Director, also spoke out on the matter saying “It is deeply upsetting that representatives of the Catholic Church are calling for the Dominican Government to declare a U.S. diplomat ‘persona non grata’ because of his sexual orientation.

“Ambassador Brewster is an exemplary representative of the U.S. government, and he has worked tirelessly in the Dominican Republic to fight corruption and support the human rights of all Dominicans. Instead of hurling insults at Ambassador Brewster, individuals like Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodriguez should be joining the Ambassador as he works to support the most vulnerable. The Vatican must publicly reject the recent actions of Cardinal López and re-focus its leadership on spiritual fulfillment and helping those in need.”

The U.S. State Department also criticized the letter, saying, “We disagree in the strongest of terms with these characterizations of Ambassador Brewster and our foreign policy.”

In December 2015, Cardinal Archbishop Nicolás de Jesús López Rodriguez called the U.S. ambassador a “faggot”.

He said last month of Brewster: “That man needs to go back to his embassy. Let him focus on housework, since he’s the wife to a man.”

“Perpetuating discrimination,”

Rodríguez has also referred to Brewster as a ‘faggot‘, claiming: “Diplomacy is not for that sort of thing, an absolutely negative propaganda.”

The U.S. ambassador  spoke out against the comments calling on the Cardinal to stay out of his private life.

The ambassador, who is legally married to Bob Satawake, said that hatred and exclusion have many ways of manifesting.

“When you marginalize any group and minimize its values, without being able to express yourself, the only thing that is achieved is perpetuating discrimination. That is something that I will speak strongly against,” said Brewster.

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