Catholic Bishop in Dominican Republic: Obama's Gay Ambassadorial Nominee 'Will Have to Leave’

Michael W. Chapman | July 15, 2013 | 3:09pm EDT
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James "Wally" Brewster, President Barack Obama's openly gay nominee to be ambassador to the Dominican Republic. (AP)

( –  President Barack Obama’s openly gay ambassadorial nominee to the Dominican Republic, James “Wally” Brewster,” faces strong opposition from the conservative and largely Catholic island nation, where Bishop Pablo Cedano says if Brewster becomes the U.S. ambassador, “he is going to suffer and will have to leave.”

On Monday, Catholic, evangelical, and other opponents in the Dominican Republic organized and took part in what were billed as “Black Monday” protests, whereby participants donned black clothing and set black decorations on cars and buildings to protest the nomination of Brewster, who is a long-time homosexual activist and fundraiser for the Democratic Party and President Obama.

Monsignor Cedano, who is the auxiliary Catholic bishop of Santo Domingo, said in early July that the selection of Brewster showed “a lack of sensitivity, of respect by the United States.” Cedano also, in reference to opposition against Brewster, according to the Associated Press,  said,  “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.”

Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, the archbishop of Santo Domingo, also expressed disappointment with the nomination of Brewster. As reported first in the Dominican newspaper La Opinion and then the Associated Press, Cardinal Nicolas 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.”

Map of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

“Ask the Muslim world what they think about that, in addition to Christians and Evangelicals,” said the cardinal.

Cristobal Cardozo, head of the Dominican Evangelical Franternity, said that establishing Brewster as ambassador would constitute “an insult to good Dominican customs.”

The Dominican Republic is an island southeast of Florida and Cuba in the Caribbean. It occupies the eastern half of the island while Haiti occupies the western half. The population of the Dominican Republic is nearly 10 million, and is about 70% Catholic and 18% Evangelical protestant. There are also small numbers of Mormons, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and those who profess no religion.

James “Wally” Brewster is a senior managing partner for the Chicago-based marketing firm SB&K Global. He is also a National LGBT Co-Chair for the Democratic National Committee and is on the board of the Human Rights Campaign.

Brewster was a campaign bundler for Barack Obama in 2012, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. His gay partner is Bob Satawake.

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