Showing posts with label Gay Ambassador. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Ambassador. Show all posts

August 13, 2016

US Ambassador and His Husband Have Become Big Stars in Copenhagen

Ambassador Rufus Gifford and  his Husband Stephen DeVincent at Copenhagen having fun with their fans
We already need a gay President! If crazies can have a crack at it why not a beautiful committed couple that have the smarts and the background to be the leader of the free world and the envy of those18th century backward states that criticize two men holding hands only because of the boner they get and most hide, they are embarrassed by it.  
Lets keep our eyes open for this future event and keep those names somewhere in your computer, just like I do.
                                                                       _*_ 

COPENHAGEN — American ambassadors abroad tend to be low-profile diplomats who host cocktail parties and try not to make waves in their host countries.
Not here.

Ambassador Rufus Gifford is an A-list celebrity — and even a reality TV star — in this nation of 5.7 million people. On the streets of the capital, the average person knows his name.

That’s because the handsome Gifford, 42, has been a visible presence and an outspoken advocate for gay rights in a country that in 1989 became the first in the world to legalize same-sex unions, and it legalized same-sex marriage in 2012.

His celebrity status was cemented when he starred in his own hit reality show I am the Ambassador from America in 2014. In Season 2 last fall, everyone tuned in to watch Gifford marry his longtime partner, Stephen DeVincent.

Gifford’s life has been an inspiration for homosexual youth, Copenhagen Pride chair Lars Henriksen said. “He has been very open and frank about his own personal story,” Henriksen said. “This has helped to highlight the importance of an LGBTQ-inclusive society.”

Others just like his down-to-earth nature. “Rufus is not afraid to come down from his high diplomatic throne to talk with normal beer-drinking, festival-going Danes," said copy editor Jacob Andersen, 36. “We love to hear how much he likes Denmark.” 

 
In an interview, Gifford cites his diplomatic achievements — improving already close U.S.-Danish ties — rather than his lifestyle as his main accomplishment. “I think it is our job to help create an element of trust not just with the government but also with the population more broadly,” he said.To promote U.S. values, Gifford has held a series of town hall meetings with students who are encouraged to ask any question, no matter how tough. 

He is active on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Before traveling, he polls for suggestions of places to visit. Once he surprised a group of students by attending a birthday barbecue they had invited him to join.
His time in a country such as Denmark, where alternative lifestyles are embraced, marks a long journey from when he was a youth back home and had to keep secret about being gay.

Gifford grew up as the scion of a blue-blood New England banking family. His father, Charles, ran Bank of Boston in the 1980s and was chairman of Bank of America. Gifford said he grew up terrified of admitting his sexuality in public. But his parents were accepting once they discovered his feelings, which occurred when his mother opened a journal of his.

“One of the biggest struggles you have as a young, gay person is figuring out how to be comfortable in your own skin,” he said. “I mean, you would lie in bed at night when you were 15, 16, 17 years old and just figure out if there was some way to escape your body.”
 
Ambassador Rufus Gifford and Stephen DeVincent at their marriage ceremony

Stephen DeVincent places the ring on Rufus Gifford's finger during their marriage ceremony at Copenhagen City Hall on Oct. 10, 2015. Their tuxes are Ermenegildo Zegna and the rings are made by George Jensen. (Photo: Peter Brinch via the U.S. Embassy in Denmark)
Gifford's TV show covered intimate details of his life and work. It filmed him joining Danish special forces for overnight exercises, visiting Greenland to investigate climate change and traveling home after 12 hours of work.

“To the Danish eye, he resembles a Hollywood film star,” said Erik Struve Hansen, executive producer of DR3, the public TV channel that carried the show. “He has a wide, white smile. He is always upbeat but can also be serious.”
Gifford said he worried that he might lose his job if the show tanked or proved controversial. “It was terrifying, but exciting,” he said.
Some critics say Gifford has taken public diplomacy a little too far. Danish lawmaker Naser Khader of the Conservative Party complained that the country deserves a career diplomat, not a Hollywood star.

Still, I am the Ambassador from America became one of the most popular DR3 programs ever. Last October's spectacle of Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensenofficiating the marriage of DeVincent and the ambassador in a gold-filigreed chamber in City Hall won Gifford the Danish equivalent of an Emmy for most compelling character.
Now, as his time in Denmark likely nears an end along with the Obama administration, Gifford is pondering his next career move. He said he may run for political office or work as a business consultant.
“Ultimately,” he said, "I have to know that what I am doing is making the world a better place.”

Robin Elizabeth Herr, Special for USA TODAY

August 9, 2016

An AntiGay Philippines President Calls US Ambassador ‘Gay Son of a Bitch’



US Ambassador Goldberg(L Philippines Pres. Duterte(R
 
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte criticized the U.S. ambassador to the island nation by calling him "gay." Duterte was discussing his recent campaign for president with soldiers in Cebu last week, when he singled out Philip Goldberg, who has served as ambassador to the Philippines since November 2013 and has been critical of Duterte’s remarks about sexual violence.

Duterte told the soldiers he and Goldberg disagreed during the campaign after Duterte made a joke about the rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill during a 1989 Davao City prison riot. "I am OK with him," Duterte said of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, before adding, "I quarreled with his gay ambassador. I am pissed with him. He meddled during the election, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that.”

He also added, according to Yonhap news agency: “That son of a bitch really annoyed me."   Australian Embassy," Goldberg said in an interview aired by CNN Philippines in April. “Any statements by anyone, anywhere that either degrade women or trivialize issues so serious as rape or murder, are not ones that we condone."

Duterte responded that Goldberg "should not interfere with our national election," and threatened to end relations with the U.S., an important ally in the South China Sea amid rising tensions with China over territorial claims. Duterte went on to win the presidency in May with roughly 38.9 percent of the vote.

Cristina Silva
ibtimes.com

Ambassador Goldberg has had his problems with other head of states(as noted below) however for an elected President of a nation to call him gay says more about the head of state than about the Ambassador. Pres. Duarte is a homophobe leader of a homophobe country that calls itself Catholic.

They have a run away case of HIV transmissions only worse by certain parts in Africa. Getting HIV there means no meds no treatment except homeopathic attempts to control a deadly virus. The government does not supply meds and the little amount available is donated by other nations particularly the US and the Clinton foundation. I have spoken to HIV Philippines that feel the government wants to get rid of them seeing them as gay and as a waste and sees HIV/Aids as a way to cleanse itself of that population. So they do nothing to alleviate the problem waiting for infected people to die off. This does not apply to people with money which are able to import their own meds or get ahead of lists of donated treatments. Duterte in his vocabulary of words that diminishes the humanity of what he sees as an adversary sees nothing worse than calling somebody ‘gay.’

 If you think the Philippines is a third world country with government after government being corrupt all the ways back to the Marco’s regime. you are correct  The Philippines show that Democracy is not an outfit that every nation can wear. The fact is that this nation is done no better in a democracy than with the dictatorship of Marcos and his shoe craze wife Imelda.

The main problem has been the lack of education and of a working economy to produce jobs. Without those two there is no way a nation can move forward. As far as education, this is the least of the priorities of a corrupt government. History show the more educated the populace, the least a corrupt government can get away with silly lies like blaming others for its own manufactured problems. Talking about manufactured problems according to VICE cheap non identifiable guns is its main export to the US and other places where cheap untraceable guns are in demand for crime.
Adam Gonzalez
  Publisher

US Ambassador Goldberg’s  Service Background (Wikipedia):

 President George W. Bush nominated Philip S. Goldberg as Ambassador to Bolivia and his nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 3, 2006. Goldberg presented his credentials to Bolivian President Evo Morales on October 13, 2006.

In August 2007, the United States was accused by Government Minister Juan Ramón Quintana of funding opposition to President Morales by providing opposition leaders and critical think-tanks with millions of dollars. According to Quintana, the US Government Aid agency, USAID, had implied by reference in documents in Bolivia's possession that funding was to help restore democracy to Bolivia.Morales indirectly threatened retaliation against the ambassador for interference with Bolivia's government. Tom Casey, a spokesman for the State Department, denied these allegations.

On September 10, 2008, the Bolivian Government gave 72 hours for Ambassador Goldberg to leave the country, after declaring him persona non grata. The Telegraph reported on September 12, 2008 that President Morales had been angered by a meeting between Goldberg and Santa Cruz Governor Rubén Costas. Costas, founder of Autonomy for Bolivia, has pressed for democracy and autonomy for Bolivia’s regions. Morales had accused Goldberg of plotting against Bolivia's government.

In an interview with Newsweek magazine, Goldberg indicated a belief that several factors had come into play in his expulsion, including the influence of Venezuela, and that "[i]t was part of the general policy of the Bolivian government for Morales to attack the United States. Immediately prior to leaving Bolivia, Goldberg had said that Morales' decision would have "serious consequences of several sorts which apparently have not been correctly evaluated". The US State Department issued an official statement saying that Bolivia had committed a grave error and that the allegations against Goldberg were baseless. The statement also indicated that:

President Morales’ action is a grave error that has seriously damaged the bilateral relationship.... We regret that President Morales has chosen this course. It will prejudice the interests of both countries, undermine the ongoing fight against drug-trafficking, and will have serious regional implications.

Ambassador to the Philippines[edit]
In 2013, U.S President Barack Obama appointed Goldberg as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, replacing Harry K. Thomas Jr. who had been assigned to the country since 2010. Goldberg's nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate, and he was sworn in on 23 November 2013.

April 9, 2016

Hillary’s Emails Indicate Hardship of Gay Diplomats in New Zealand




The US Department of State has released emails to and from Hillary Clinton that describe gay American and New Zealand diplomats encountering “significant hardship” while serving in both countries.
maxresdefault_1.jpg
The emails were released in February and include correspondence from former New Zealand ambassador David Huebner, who held the position from 2009 to 2014 and who was the third openly gay ambassador the United States has ever appointed.

In an email written to Clinton’s chief of staff in 2012, Huebner thanked his administration for bringing up the issue of accommodation for his partner Dr Duane McWaine.

"Please convey...my deep thanks for raising with NZ Foreign Minister McCully the issue of diplomat same-sex spouse work accommodation.

"GNZ's [government of New Zealand's] refusal to extend to same-sex spouses (whether married, registered as domestic partners, or otherwise) the benefits granted to married opposite-sex spouses has caused significant hardship for several members of our mission as well as for a comparable number of Kiwi diplomats serving in the US."

In the email, mostly censored, he went on to say, "[Foreign service officers] with more limited resources, however, including [redacted] have been severely impacted by the situation.

"Including the issue on the agenda signalled to the Foreign Minister the importance of the issue...and I suspect that it will prod him into reopening the matter in some fashion, despite his prior flat refusal.”

The Department of State began to consider visa applications by same-sex spouses in the same manner as other unions in 2013 after the United States passed marriage equality legislation. 


Posted in:  New Zealand Daily News 
By GayNZ.com Daily News 

March 29, 2016

Dominican Gay Teacher Political Run Grateful to have Gay Ambassador



                                                                          Gay Pride marchers in Santo Domingo held signs earlier this year reading (R) 'Welcome Mr Ambassador James "Wally" Brewster' just days after Cardinal Rodriguez called Mr Brewster the Spanish equivalent of 'faggot' during a press conference

 Welcome: Gay Pride marchers in Santo Domingo held signs earlier this year reading (R) 'Welcome Mr Ambassador James "Wally" Brewster' just days after Cardinal Rodriguez called Mr Brewster the Spanish equivalent of 'faggot' during a press conference

Deivis Ventura is still just a candidate for the Dominican Republic's Chamber of Deputies, but he feels like he's already scored a victory.
The 42-year-old former private school teacher, the first openly gay person to run for his country's Congress, is delighted his campaign has not encountered overt hostility as it likely would have in the past.
"It's an important moment for our country," Ventura said one recent afternoon during a break from campaigning with a transgender friend. "The fact that we have openly LGBT candidates in an important political party speaks of change."
Another openly gay man, Yimbert Telemin, is running in the May election for city council in La Romana, an area of famed beach resorts on the southeastern coast.
That they can run openly as homosexuals is the sign of a cultural shift that activists say has been helped by the presence of U.S. Ambassador James "Wally" Brewster, the first openly gay top diplomat the United States has posted to a Latin American country. Brewster's appointment angered some religious leaders and their followers in the Dominican Republic, but it was an important move for people who've long felt marginalized in the conservative Caribbean country.
"Wally has become an iconic figure in the LGBT movement because the movement does have strong local figures," said prominent activist Alexander Mundary.
Dr. Victor Terrero, director of the National Council on HIV and AIDS, noted that Brewster and his husband have been guests of President Danilo Medina and the ambassador has hosted many of the country's notable figures.
"The presence of the ambassador has contributed to the breaking of much of the stigma," Terrero said. "It has shown in a way that (homosexuality) is not a sin, nor is it something to get crazy about."
Representatives of U.S.-based Human Rights First said every person they met with before issuing a December report on the status of LGBT people in the Dominican Republic mentioned Brewster in their conversations.
"Everyone seemed to think, even if they had mixed feelings about it, that overall it was a net positive," said Shawn Gaylord, a lawyer for the group who works on LGBT issues. "The presence of Ambassador Brewster has really spurred a larger conversation."
The Dominican Republic does not have laws criminalizing homosexuality as numerous English-speaking Caribbean countries do. But the U.S. State Department said in its annual human rights report that non-governmental organizations who work with LGBT people in the country have reported widespread discrimination in health care, education, the justice system and employment. Ventura says he was dismissed from his teaching job when he came out as gay in 2008 and others tell similar stories.
The Human Rights First report said transgender people are vulnerable to violence in the country, with several dozen suspected hate-crime murders since 2006.
A bill that included an article prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation failed in the Congress amid opposition to a provision for sex education in primary school. Terrero is coordinating an effort to get a bill that would bar any form of discrimination, including based on sexual orientation, before lawmakers in the coming weeks.
"The Dominican LGBT population has woken up," said Telemin, a 36-year-old attorney and activist. "People aren't afraid now."
Earlier this month, about 20 businesses came together to form the first LGBT chamber of commerce, with support from USAID.
"Ten years ago we would never even talk about it," Francisco Castillo, the president of the new chamber, said of homosexuality. "It was shameful to even mention it, we preferred to avoid the subject."
Brewster was guest of honor at the chamber's March 2 inauguration ceremony, prompting a wave of angry denunciations. Fidel Lorenzo, a pastor and leader of an evangelical Christian organization, accused Brewster of trying to promote homosexuality and led efforts that collected more than 31,000 signatures for a petition calling on President Barack Obama to remove the ambassador. Catholic officials also denounced the American diplomat, temporarily putting up a sign at one school that said he could not enter.
The ambassador, who had been a prominent fundraiser for Obama, encountered similar condemnations starting weeks before his arrival in November 2013 with his husband, Bob Satawake. But the Medina government accepted his credentials and business has apparently carried on as normal between two countries that have long had warm relations.
The U.S. Embassy did not respond to a request by The Associated Press for an interview with the ambassador. Brewster dismissed his critics in a radio interview. "I think it's a small group," he said. "People who are just haters and want to marginalize others."
Ventura said he has encountered only signs of support so far. He is running in the party of the main opposition presidential candidate, Luis Abinader, and his chances of victory are uncertain in his busy, industrial district. But he is optimistic about both his prospects and those of the Dominican Republic. "The country keeps getting better in terms of human rights and I, as a gay man, can exercise my right to be a candidate," he said. “People are supporting me, and they are supporting my candidacy."
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic 

March 18, 2016

Religious Group in Dominican Rep. Wants US Gay Ambassador Recalled


                                                                           
Michael “Wally” Brewster(left) was appointed U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic in June of 2013

To the ambassador, it was an educational visit, an opportunity to talk about the United Nations and the chance to interact with young students, he said, to have a conversation about the world's different countries and cultures.

But for the Dominican Council of Evangelical Unity, or CODUE by its Spanish acronym, Michael "Wally" Brewster, U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, was openly promoting a homosexual agenda to young, vulnerable minds.

CODUE has launched a petition on the White House's website. Its purpose is "to remove the U.S. ambassador in the Dominican Republic" for promoting "an LGBT agenda inconsistent with the Christian cultural values and tradition" of the country.

As of this writing, the petition had collected just over 30,000 signatures. To be considered, it has to gather at least 69,927.

Brewster suggests those asking for his removal seem to ignore the multiple actions taken during his tenure that have greatly benefited the Dominican Republic.

"Not everybody is always going to agree with the measures we've taken in cooperation with the Dominican Republic or how we manage our relationship. There's great work that we're doing in partnership with the Dominican government, especially in law enforcement areas," he said.

President Obama appointed Brewster, a major fundraiser for his 2012 campaign, as U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic in June of 2013.

But the 55-year-old openly gay Chicago businessman faced opposition from religious leaders in the Caribbean country from the beginning, especially because he was also known for serving on the national board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent gay rights group.

When he arrived in the Dominican Republic in late November of 2013 to begin his tenure, he brought along a first for a male U.S. ambassador in the Caribbean nation: a husband.

"My spouse, Bob, and I have traveled the world, from the far reaches of Asia to the stunning coastlines of southern Europe," Brewster said in a video introducing himself on the U.S. Embassy's website.

Then husband Bob Satawake chimed in: "But we always return to the beauty of the Dominican Republic."

Earlier this month, CODUE, a coalition of evangelical Christian churches, reacted angrily when Brewster helped launch the LGBT Chamber of Commerce, accompanied by Satawake.

But the strongest reaction came when he visited a school where, according to Fidel Lorenzo, CODUE's president, Brewster was not helping students learn about the world, but promoting a gay agenda, at an event where he showed up with his husband.

"It's not only about pointing out and prohibiting homosexual practices. There's also a systematic violation of Dominican laws, our sovereignty and identity, principles that we shouldn't negotiate with. In his reelection speech, President Obama said that 'no one is above the law.' However, this ambassador violates our laws every day without remorse," Lorenzo said.

Article 55 of the Dominican Constitution establishes that marriage must be between a man and a woman.

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a statement Friday that Brewster continues to have the support of the White House.

"President Obama chose Ambassador Brewster to represent the United States government in the Dominican Republic because of his outstanding credentials, integrity and dedication to the advancing the interests of this country. He has the full support of this President, this White House and the entire U.S. government and I know he will continue to advocate tirelessly for the interests of the United States in the Dominican Republic," Rice said.

Meanwhile, another evangelical Christian group has demanded Brewster's removal. The Federation of Cibao Pastors is asking the Dominican government to declare the ambassador persona non grata and expel him from the country.

Brewster insists he's only representing the interests of the United States to the best of his ability and helping Dominicans in any way he can.

While observing the International Day of Zero Discrimination on March 1, the ambassador announced the U.S. government is contributing $15.5 million a year to fight AIDS.

Brewster said he also strongly opposes discrimination against vulnerable groups, "including women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, socio-economic discrimination and members of the LGBTI community, among others."

CNN's Athena Jones contributed to this report.

December 23, 2015

Sen.Durbin Intervenes in Barrage of Anti Gay Words Directed at Dominican Gay Ambassador by Cardinal



                                                                         
 On Left Ambassador gay “Wally” Brewster and at right Rabidly anti gay Cardinal Nicolas. He says of “Wally” who is married “You are a wife go and tend to your husband” Those are the nicest of his statements
                                                                          


The State Department weighed in Tuesday on an escalating war of words against the U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic and a cardinal who has leveled gay slurs against him -- telling FoxNews.com the fight "does underscore" the importance of pushing human rights causes. 

U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster, who is openly gay and married, has been mocked over his sexual orientation by Cardinal Archbishop Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez for more than two years.

It got so heated that earlier this month, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., sent a letter to Pope Francis asking him to intervene in the verbal attacks. 

“Even before Ambassador Brewster’s arrival in Santo Domingo in 2013, Cardinal Rodriguez launched a personal attack against him with public statements quoted in the popular press,” Durbin’s letter said. "The Cardinal used the hateful slur ‘faggot,’ which he continues to use to this day." 

Durbin added, "In a recent interview Cardinal Rodriguez again described the ambassador as a ‘faggot’ and falsely claimed the ambassador was setting out to promote ‘faggotry’ in the Dominican Republic." 

The cardinal reportedly also said Brewster should “focus on housework, since he’s the wife to a man.” 

A State Department official on Tuesday defended Brewster's work in a statement to FoxNews.com: 

“Ambassador Brewster, like all U.S. ambassadors, advances this [human rights] policy along with many other aspects of our bilateral relationship. That there may be those opposed to the promotion of human rights in various societies around the world is not surprising, but it does underscore why this work is so important.” 

In the past, the same cardinal has organized a “Black Monday” protest against Brewster where people were asked to show their opposition to Brewster by tying black ribbons on their cars. 

The State Department told FoxNews.com that U.S. policy is “dedicated to eliminating barriers to equality, fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and engaging LGBTI communities around the world.” 

While the Dominican Republic’s criminal code does not explicitly prohibit homosexuality, it is a staunchly Catholic country.

Brewster’s appointment has been a point of contention from the start. High-profile Catholic Church leaders said assigning an openly gay man to the post was seen as a lack of respect from the Obama administration.

"He has not considered the particularities of our people. The United States is trying to impose on us marriage between gays and lesbians as well as adoption by these couples," Father Luis Rosario, director of youth ministries for the church, told CNN in 2013. 

  
For Durbin, who is close friends with Brewster and a devout catholic enough is enough. Durbin would like the Pope to intervene in the barrage of homophobic words against the Ambassador.

U.S. Ambassador to the D.R. makes waves on conservative island for pushing gay issues 
“Despite these hateful words and personal attacks, Ambassador Brewster has worked to quiet the conflict between Church leaders and himself,” Durbin wrote to the pope. “His patience and professionalism in light of these mean-spirited attacks by the Cardinal demonstrate his personal commitment to his responsibility of representing the United States of America.”

Durbin says while the Catholic church’s teachings on gay marriage are well known, he points out in his letter that “the church also teaches us to show tolerance for those with different sexual orientations.”

“The intolerant public statements of Cardinal Rodriguez are inconsistent with that clearly stated value,” Durbin wrote.

It is unclear whether the Vatican has responded to Durbin’s letter. Calls and emails to Durbin’s office for comment were not returned.

November 12, 2015

Pope Meets with USGay Envoy from State Dept.to the Vatican



                                                                              

The encounter took place in a non-descript room at the Vatican, and conversation stuck to regular diplomatic briefs. But for the parties involved on Tuesday morning, the meeting held historic significance: Randy Berry, the first-ever U.S. Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI persons, and Vatican officials from the Holy See’s Secretary of State office were meeting for the first time.

The moment, simple as it was, marked a new level of U.S. engagement with the Catholic Church on LGBT human rights issues. Berry told TIME he met with officials for about an hour, and he met separately with representatives from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. For both sides, the conversations were new.

President Barack Obama only created Berry’s position at the State Department in April, and until now, Berry has primarily only talked with faith leaders in the field, as he has traveled to 30 countries in the last seven months. He met with evangelical congregations in Jamaica when he visited in May, for example. Conversations about LGBT human rights have never before reached this level with the Catholic Church, which considers gay and lesbian sexual behavior a sin and restricts marriage to unions of one man and one woman. 

Berry’s focus however is not on marriage, but on the twin foreign policy issues of violence and discrimination. That strategy, Berry hopes, allows for common ground with the Vatican to stand together against extreme violence. “We were not there to talk about issues of civil unions or same sex marriage, for example, because that is not part of our policy,” Berry says. “That is not part of the conversation we were interested in engaging in, nor do I think were they.”

Berry requested the Vatican meeting as part of his three-week trip to Eastern Europe, which has included visits to five countries and a stop in Athens for the annual conference for ILGA, an international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights association. Church officials accepted. “I wanted a chance to brief Vatican officials myself,” Berry says. “These issues of violence and extreme discrimination are of concern to us all.”

The meeting is particularly noteworthy ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Uganda at the end of the month, where homosexuality is illegal. When Uganda introduced a law last year that further criminalized homosexuality with extensive prison sentences, Western powers including the U.S. pushed back, while local Catholic leaders had mixed responses. Courts eventually struck the measure down, but hundreds of gay Ugandans have since fled to Kenya, where homosexuality is also illegal and where Pope Francis also plans a visit during his trip to central Africa.

Berry says he spent time in “listening mode” to learn from officials about how Pope Francis engages on human rights issues when he travels. He remembers how a gay rights activist was included when a large group of political activists met with Pope Francis in Paraguay this summer. “That inclusive approach speaks volumes,” Berry says. “I would hope that certainly those same messages are shared, and I fully expect that they will be because I think they are completely consistent with what we’ve seen from His Holiness in the past.”

The fact that the meeting even happened is revealing. It is a sign that the Obama administration sees future opportunity to work with the Vatican after the Pope’s September visit, with the possibility to build on the partnership they have strengthened on climate change and migration. It is also a sign that Vatican diplomatic efforts are willing to take certain amount of risk by talking with the U.S. on this issue, as any LGBT issues thrusts the Church into an often conflicted spotlight. Pope Francis has continued to advocate dialogue and listening to a range of perspectives even as he has ramped up the Vatican’s diplomatic activism, and the U.S. State Department continues to take note and look for opportunities to engage.

Discussion of any concrete collaboration with the Vatican would be premature, however. For now, Berry hopes to further common ground and expand contacts for future conversations. “It was an important first dialogue and I hope that we will continue,” Berry says. “I get to do a lot of really amazing things in this job,” he continues. “It was quite a positive experience.”

June 19, 2014

Gay Married Ambassador to the Dominican Republic tapes Pride Message


                                                                            


In this video US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James Brewster appears with his husband
Bob Satawake to celebrate pride.

I remember when President Obama nominated the ambassador. The republicans in congress were in  an uproar saying how could the US humiliate itself appointing a gay ambassador to the Caribbean nation. If it wasn’t because the democrats control the senate, Im not sure that this man would have been approved to become ambassador by the senate.

It is our pride to have this ambassador and his husband serve as an example to the homophobic caribbean that gay married or non married man are as good as the coconut milk their palm trees produce. “Co-co rico” (rich coconut)

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