(National Palace Government building)

Religious groups in Dominican Republic oppose approval of openly gay U.S. ambassador

Despite backlash from religious groups in the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Embassy in the U.S. has confirmed their approval of James “Wally” Brewster, an openly gay LGBTQ activist and top campaign fundraiser, as their new U.S. Ambassador.

“We can confirm that Mr. Brewster has already been accepted by the Dominican Republic as the next United States Ambassador to the country,” according to a statement provided to NBC Latino by the Dominican Embassy in the U.S. “Indeed, the standard procedure is for a Government to grant the agrément [approval of a diplomatic representative by the state] for a proposed Ambassadorship before the nominating country announces its decision.”

Evangelical and Catholic proponents have voiced their disapproval of the Dominican government’s acceptance of Brewster, saying the U.S. is trying to export gay rights, according to the Miami Herald.  Opponents asked President Danilo Medina to reject the nomination Friday, but the government has made its position clear.

“The Dominican Republic is a democracy with a vibrant media and a wide diversity of opinions on every conceivable topic,” the embassy’s statement said. “However, it is the position of the Government of the Dominican Republic that a person’s sexual preference is strictly a personal matter and it looks forward to working constructively with Mr. Brewster in his official capacity once his nomination is approved by the US Senate.”

Brewster is the seventh openly gay U.S. ambassador.  Dominican Monsignor Pablo Cedano, who opposes the ambassadorship, said in a press conference that Brewster will not be there long.

‘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,” Monsignor Pablo Cedano said in a news conference, while a Cardinal at the same news conference used a derogatory term to describe the Ambassador’s sexual orientation.

Cid Wilson, a national Dominican American leader from New Jersey, if confirmed, should be an effective U.S. Ambassador.

“He is a very successful businessman and understands the language of commerce which will benefit both The United States and the Dominican Republic,” Wilson said. “The fact that he is LGBT should play no role in evaluating the effectiveness of Mr. Brewster. The only thing that matters is that he’s qualified to be a U.S. Ambassador.”

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