Wally Brewster, America's most controversial gay ambassador, took to Facebook to question the humanity of religious leaders in the Dominican Republic, the country where he was appointed to serve by US President Barack Obama just shortly before marrying his partner.
Many religious figures in the Caribbean nation, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, have accused the United States of "homo-imperialism" and of imposing a set of beliefs foreign to the country's conservative population, where a vast majority are Roman Catholic.
Members of the US Congress have written to His Holiness the Pope asking that members of the Catholic church tone down what they consider extremely hateful and hurtful rhetoric aimed at Ambassador Brewster, after epithets such as "fag" and "woman" were used by Santo Domingo's Cardinal.
But this past Monday Ambassador Brewster needed no defenders, as he himself expressed outrage, writing on Facebook:
|March against the LGBT agenda. Listin Diario|
"Where is their humanity??? Front page in the Dominican Republic today! Leaders of the Catholic and Evangelical Church marched against LGBT rights only hours after the mass tragedy in Orlando. Still stunned and horrified that this event was not cancelled as the rest of the world was showing an outpouring of love and support for the victims and their families. We may have differences but how can religious leaders condone and actually lead a march against LGBT citizens and their rights while there were still bodies being moved from the nightclub where their innocent lives were taken because of being gay. My God is a loving God. Who is theirs that has filled them with hate?"
M. Calderon, commenting on Ambassador Brewster's Facebook post, claimed that it was ridiculous for Dominicans to be called homophobes, when they were simply displeased at the "aberration" being imposed upon a conservative people without consent.
Others, meanwhile, argued that the march was not "against the LGBT agenda," but rather "for the family."
Ministers from Radio Ven/Voz Evangelica wrote that "almost all leaders" of the pre-planned rally "expressed their sorrow about what happened in Orlando," going on to accuse the ambassador of bias for "doing exactly the same thing you denounce in others."
In response to Radio Ven, Ambassador Brewster wrote:
"Read your press release about the planned rally and the purpose. It was clear it was against LGBT rights including marriage. That is discrimination and the idea you try to hide behind it is part of the reason for the post. You justify hate and intolerance with 'family values' as you [sic] rallying cry. We are families too and we are Christians too. Once you accept you [sic] lack of acceptance maybe we can heal our countries."
In a country where gay unions are not legally recognized, Mr. Brewster and his partner are the most highly-visible, legally-married gay couple, and their visits to schools have led to angry outcries by many TV commentators.
Although Mr. Brewster has called for healing, this is unlikely to come as long as he is the Ambassador to Santo Domingo, for even Dominican liberals in the nationalist camp feel that they have to support the religious right in order to not appear subservient to a country that occupied the Dominican Republic for nearly decade starting exactly one century ago, especially as many of today's nationalists fought against the United States during the US invasion of 1965.