The Senate has confirmed Human Rights Campaign board member Wally Brewster as the US ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Brewster becomes the fifth openly gay US ambassador currently serving. Via HRC:
When nominated for the ambassadorship, Wally Brewster served as Senior Executive for SB&K Global, a global consumer dynamics strategy consulting firm, where he worked with clients on global expansion and growth. Through his professional and personal activities, he has shown an unparalleled commitment to human rights and democracy around the world. Prior to this year, three openly gay people had served as U.S. Ambassadors (Jim Hormel, Michael Guest and David Huebner). Just this year, five openly gay people have been confirmed as Ambassadors (Brewster, along with John Berry in Australia, James Costos in Spain, Rufus Gifford in Denmark, and Daniel Baer as ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).
After Brewster’s nomination first became known, anti-gay protests lead by the local Catholic Church broke out in the Dominican Republic. In July, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez called Brewster a maricón (faggot) during an interview with local media. Two weeks later local evangelical leaders called for a national day of protest during which supporters wore black armbands and adorned their cars with black ribbons. During that protest Catholic Bishop Pablo Cedaño warned that if Brewster dared visit, “He’s going to suffer and he will have to leave.”