The earth briefly tilted off of its axis on Tuesday due to the unprecedented coming together of the U.S.A.’s six impossibly handsome, gay foreign ambassadors in our nation’s capital. Wa-ooo-ga, wobble wobble.
Ambassador to Australia, John Berry; Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, James Brewster; Ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford; Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Daniel Baer; Ambassador to Spain, James Costos; and Ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius took the Newseum stage to discuss the path to equality throughout the world, and the unique dual roles these gentlemen perform, representing both their country and the global LGBT community. The two don’t often easily go hand-in-hand (especially when states in your home country are passing laws to refuse service and employment to gay, bi, and trans people).
Ambassador Brewster in particular spoke about the Catholic Church’s reaction when President Obama appointed him as ambassador to the Dominican Republic in 2013. Those of you who thought House of Cards‘ Claire Underwood had a rough go of things fresh out the gate when she wanted to become U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, take note:
“The Dominican Evangelical Fraternity called [Brewster’s appointment] “an insult to good Dominican customs” and called for a black-ribbon protest. A Catholic cardinal, Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, waded in several times and at a press conference referred to “faggots and lesbians”. Another church leader, Monsignor Pablo Cedano, said he hoped Brewster would not come: “Because I know if he comes he is going to suffer and will have to leave.”
Brewster, to his credit, was all oh No NO about that right there, telling the audience:
“We both have a very strong Christian belief and so no one is ever going to be able to tell me God doesn’t love me,” But, he said, even in the face of such opposition, many people in the Caribbean country tell him that his being there gives them hope.
You tell ’em, tiger.
Not in attendance: the nonexistent L, B, and T ambassadors, as well as our top diplomatic appointees who also happen to be people of color. Six openly gay, white, male ambassadors is a
good start, but here’s hoping that Madame President appoints a more diverse group of faces after she takes office.
Nevertheless, props to the Human Rights Campaign, the Harvey Milk Foundation and GLIFAA for bringing these gentlemen together for a historic evening.
(Also: Who would you rather???)