Gay US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Wally Brewster has faced intolerance, hate and bigotry since he was nominated for his post by President Obama in 2013.
After being chosen by the president, Dominican religious leaders organized a “black armband” protest after first denouncing Brewster as a “faggot.” Brewster was undeterred, however. After taking up his new job in the Dominican Republic, Brewster released a powerful video celebrating LGBT pride. Dominican cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez was none too pleased with that overture to the island’s LGBT community and told Brewster to take his pride elsewhere. López has also called Brewster “the wife to a man” who should spend his time doing housework instead of advocating for human rights.
Now, Democratic lawmakers in the US Congress have written a letter to the president of the Dominican Republican voicing their support for Brewster. The move is likely in response to a White House petition formed by a group of Dominican evangelicals who want President Obama to fire Brewster. That petition has gained over 32,000 signatures as of this posting.
U.S. Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) spearheaded a letter to Dominican President Danilo Medina that describes Brewster as “our outstanding United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.” It also indicates their opposition to calls that President Obama remove Brewster from his post for promoting an “LGBT agenda.”
“We write to you to reaffirm that Ambassador Brewster has the strong, unambiguous support of the U.S. Congress and that we will oppose any efforts to remove him from his post,” says the letter.
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and U.S. Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus are among the lawmakers who signed the letter to Medina.
“Ambassador Brewster and his husband (Bob Satawake) are my personal friends and he is an outstanding representative to the United States and our domestic values,” said Schakowsky in a press release that the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus released on Monday. “I am proud to stand with my colleagues in sending this letter to the president of the Dominican Republic, calling on him to express support for Ambassador Brewster and reaffirm the relationship between the United States and the Dominican Republic.”
Taking their support for Brewster further, many Democratic congressmen took to Twitter to voice their support for Brewster using the hashtag #ImWithWally.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 28, 2016
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) March 28, 2016
— Rep Donna F Edwards (@repdonnaedwards) March 28, 2016
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) March 28, 2016
— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) March 28, 2016
— Rep. Suzan DelBene (@RepDelBene) March 28, 2016
— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) March 28, 2016
— MichelleLujanGrisham (@RepLujanGrisham) March 28, 2016
— Mike Quigley (@RepMikeQuigley) March 28, 2016
— Rep. Ted Lieu (@RepTedLieu) March 28, 2016
Wally Brewster, our Amb to the D.R., faces pressure to resign because he is gay. The US must stand up to LGBT discrimination. #imwithwally
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) March 28, 2016
— Rep. Scott Peters (@RepScottPeters) March 28, 2016
— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) March 28, 2016
— Rep. Dan Kildee (@RepDanKildee) March 28, 2016
US Senator Dick Durbin appears to have been among the first lawmakers to have used the hashtag when he did so earlier this month.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) March 18, 2016
Durbin has also called on Pope Francis to reign in the gay-hating Cardinal López.