Gay-Activist Nominee as Ambassador to Dominican Republic Viewed as 'Insult'
Catholic Bishop Pablo Cedano of the Dominican Republic said that President Barack Obama’s choice of an openly gay nominee as the ambassador to the conservative and largely Catholic island nation will face strong opposition. If James “Wally” Brewster becomes the U.S. ambassador, Cedano said, “he is going to suffer and will have to leave.”
CNS News reported that following the announcement in early July of Brewster's nomination, Cedano, who is auxiliary Catholic bishop of Santo Domingo, said that Obama’s selection demonstrated “a lack of sensitivity, of respect by the United States.”
On Monday, opponents to the nomination, including Catholics, Evangelicals, and other denominations, organized in the Dominican Republic and participated in “Black Monday” protests. Partakers wore black clothing and placed black decorations on cars and buildings to protest the nomination of Brewster, a long-time gay activist and fundraiser for the Democratic Party and Obama.
Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, archbishop of Santo Domingo, also expressed disappointment over Brewster’s nomination. As reported in both La Opinion and the Associated Press, the cardinal said:
We don’t have to do anything. It’s the government’s job to accept them [homosexuals]. They’re interested in advancing their agenda, but they have to know there are many people in the world who are against that, both in Christian and non-Christian governments.
“Ask the Muslim world what they think about that, in addition to Christians and Evangelicals,” urged Cardinal Nicolas.
Cristobal Cardozo, head of the Dominican Evangelical Fraternity, referred to the nomination of Brewster as “an insult to good Dominican customs.”
The population of the Dominican Republic is nearly 10 million, about 70 percent Catholic and 18 percent Evangelical Protestant. Lesser numbers of Mormons, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, and non-believers also live in the island nation.
Brewster is a senior managing partner for the Chicago-based marketing firm, SB&K Global. He is a National LGBT Co-Chair for the Democratic National Committee and a board member of the Human Rights Campaign.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Brewster was one of Obama’s top “bundlers” during the 2012 re-election campaign, using his own networks to raise funds from other contributors for the Obama/Biden ticket.
Brewster and his partner, Bob Satawake are major Democratic activists and raise funds for a variety of candidates, most recently Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.