Obama Nominates Gay Man as Ambassador to Dominican Republic

Obama has nominated James "Wally Brewster" as ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

BrewsterOn background from the White House:

James “Wally” Brewster, Jr. is the Senior Managing Partner for SB&K Global, a brand strategy and consumer dynamics consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois.  Before starting SB&K Global in 2010, he was an Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications with General Growth Properties (GGP), a real estate investment trust headquartered in Chicago.  Prior to joining GGP in 1996, Mr. Brewster worked in management at several real estate companies in Texas, including The Rouse Company and the DeBartolo Corporation.  Earlier in his career, he held marketing and management positions with Carla Francis, Inc. and the Jim Collins Company in Dallas, Texas.  Mr. Brewster is a National LGBT Co-Chair for the Democratic National Committee and currently serves on the Board of the Human Rights Campaign Fund. 

Hispanically Speaking's Estelle Gonzales Walgreen wonders how an openly gay U.S. ambassador might fare there:

Dominican-Rep-mapThough homosexuality is legal in the country, DR has engaged in activities aimed to suppress gay rights from shutting down of gay bars without cause to denying permits for gay pride events to overlooking gay bashing incidents.  Some locals quietly call elements of the Dominican police the gay Gestapo but lets not confuse them with Dominica where same-sex activity will get you a 10-year prison sentence.

The country does not legally recognize same-sex unions and constitutionally bans same-sex marriage.

Homophobia remains pervasive throughout much of the DR, especially in rural areas.  Many gay individuals remain closeted in fact 81% of HIV and AIDS cases are heterosexuals believed to be living a double life.  This is the country where its top religious leader, Cardinal Jesus Lopez Rodriguez feels comfortable enough to openly refer to gays as “maricones” (faggots) and “social trash”.

Good Luck to Brewster who will be the seventh U.S. Ambassador in history to be openly gay and the first ever in the region.  How welcoming the general population will be to Brewster should be interesting and a gauge as to how provincial the country is or is not.  Undoubtedly, the power of the U.S. will make most Dominicans have their party manners on when confronted with Brewster’s sexual orientation.  We are also confident that Brewster does not assume tolerance is measured solely by how a country treats its guests but rather how its treats its own people.


  1. Joe in SF says

    Never has one president has done more for the LGBT: for example, in the last two weeks, Obama has nominated 5 openly gay men to ambassador posts: James “Wally” Brewster, Jr. (Dominican Republic), John Berry (Australia), James Costos (Spain), Rufus Gifford (Denmark) and Daniel Baer (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

    Change you can believe in! Obama isn’t perfect, but he is better on our issues that the whole GOP leadership put together.

    Of course, he needs to sign an executive order for ENDA after Republicans in Congress reject ENDA. But this is smart politics because this rejection of protections against discrimination will remind young voters that the GOP hates gays.

  2. KT says

    Mike B, that’s pretty much the way its always been. Ambassador positions are rewards for fundraisers and allies and sycophants. Its largely a ceremonial position. Most of the actual work is done by the consuls and embassy staff.

    While its great Obama is appointing openly gay men, these ambassadorships don’t really excite me. Its just a bunch of rich donors getting rewarded for giving money to the campaign. And all five are white males.

  3. Benjamin says

    I’m excited to see Obama nominate gay men to serve as ambassadors for the US. Hopefully they serve their country honorably and not get caught with some underage kid or in a bathhouse somewhere.

  4. Jason says

    Estelle Gonzales Walgreen needs to stop playing the AIDS card in connection with gay rights in the Dominican Republic. It’s prejudicial to do this.

    Also, why is Obama giving these elite positions to gay men? Is it payback? How about enacting ENDA for us ordinary gay guys, Obie?

  5. Chitown kev says

    Sheeez, why gay men?

    You’d think that there would be a qualified lesbian or gay person of color or 2 or 3 for these ambassadorships.

    But then again, this black president has a very white administration overall so….

  6. AG says

    So, how much in campaign contributions has this guy bundled for Obama? Good that Obama doesn’t care about the sexual orientation of the cronies he sends to foreign capitals.

  7. Zeta says

    Off topic, the Dominican Republic needs to put the kibosh on its sex tourism trade — many of whom, yes, are first world homosexuals screwing underaged third worlders.

    Will this ambassador do anything about that, or that’s not the job of an ambassador?

  8. ratbastard says



    You’d think countries like the DR would be embarrassed by their sex tourism for mostly wealthy perverts,including pedos, but they’ll do anything for $.

    Rush Limbaugh loves the DR. Just saying.

  9. jamal49 says

    Amazingly stupid comments here today. But, what can one expect from people who know nothing about anything.

    Being involved in the Dominican community, having witnessed the on-going history of the Dominican diaspora first-hand, having traveled and lived in the DR over the past 20 years, the appointment of Mr. James Brewster, Jr. as U.S. ambassador is extraordinary.

    The Dominican Republic has a long history of homophobia, whether institutional or societal. Violence against gays is one the most under-reported crimes in the DR. The stereotype of a gay man–sissy, flighty, effeminate, punk–predominates in the DR.

    The Catholic Church is politically powerful in the DR. So are evangelicals. The police are notoriously corrupt and homophobic.

    The appointment of an openly gay man to the DR as the U.S. ambassador is an extraordinary statement by President Obama regarding LGBTQ rights worldwide. I applaud him for it. I have too many Dominican friends who are LGBTQ who have suffered from the oppressive homophobia in the DR and this appointment sends a message that is loud and clear.

    Naysayers here may carp that Mr. Brewster is white or not a member of the diplomatic corps. Ambassadorships have traditionally been given to high-profile supporters of a sitting President. But, those appointments sometimes are of a positive political nature and such ambassadors many times are figureheads for the real diplomatic negotiations that go on behind the scenes.

    I love the Dominican Republic. Most Dominicans I know are fair-minded and decent people, in the DR and here in the US. But where LGBTQ rights are concerned, the DR is very regressive.

    Mr. Obama’s appointment of Mr. Brewster is essential. However, it is not a given because Congress has to approve it. I am sure Republicans and their religious allies will work to scuttle the nomination.

  10. STEVEmd2 says

    I’m amazed at all the complaints about Obama by (ssupposedly) gay people

    Probably they are homophobes sent by the protestant hate groups, or ignorants

    How well do you think gay people would be doing if ROMNEY, A MORMON BISHOP BTW WAS PRESIDENT

    Some of these posters here are simply trying to split the gay community. Old political trick of right wing repubs, freaking out at whats going on in the USA andd much of the world today re supporting gay rights rIGHT NOW IN WASHINGTON THERE IS THE Cpac group meeting, which includes hate groups like the FRC, run by racist bitches like Perkins and Spriggs


    And as usual the founder of the FRC and guy who ran NARTh which claims to fix gays, Georgie boy Rekers – he’s gay as can be



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