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Thread: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

  1. #1
    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Question Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Story here: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/po...mbassador_pick

    I am just looking for opinions here. Try to see it as a diplomatic issue, not a gay rights issue.

    Like most all Ambassadors his main qualifications are bringing in $500,000 or more to the election campaign.

    Would it not be wiser to send him as Ambassador to the EU, (which is also open) or some place where he faces less opposition? Aren’t ambassadors supposed to be popular with the places we send them?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Posted By John Hudson Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 1:55 PM

    Opposition to President Obama's nominee for U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic reached a fever pitch this week as religious organizers stage a "Lunes Negro" or Black Monday protest against James "Wally" Brewster.
    If confirmed, Brewster will be the first openly gay ambassador to the country, a prospect that is not going over well with some segments of this conservative Christian country of 9 million people. Local reports indicate that church leaders are pressuring the government to reject Brewster's nomination and calling on the faithful to dress in black on Monday in solidarity against him.
    Praise Christian Church Pastor Sauford Medrano is quoted in Diario Libre as saying that Brewster could cause "the U.S. promotion of gender beliefs in the country." That supposedly violates a general education law in the country that "all the Dominican education system is based on Christian principles."

    The report was flagged by Cable reader and Dominican expat Will Williams, an architect in New York City. He said he witnessed the animosity toward the ambassador in a visit last weekend. "I could confirm myself that the opposition has been even worse from what have been reflected in the news," he said. "As a Dominican, I feel ashamed this is happening in my country ... The evangelical church is convoking the general public to reject this ambassador ... [It's] asking the public to show a black band, black banner or ribbon on cars or dress showing rejection."
    In a statement to The Cable, Monica Trasandes, director of Spanish Language Media at GLAAD, defended the president's pick. "We stand with LGBT advocates in the Dominican Republic, who are calling on leaders to quit categorizing their country's population as homophobic," she said. "We hope that James Brewster will help educate those still adversely affected by homophobia and applaud the work of LGBT advocates in the Dominican Republic."
    When news of opposition to Brewster first began, the Dominican embassy in Washington told The Cable that the country supports the president's pick. "The Dominican Republic is a democracy with a vibrant media and a wide diversity of opinions on every conceivable topic," the statement read. "However, it is the position of the Government of the Dominican Republic that a person´s sexual preference is strictly a personal matter and it looks forward to working constructively with Mr. Brewster in his official capacity once his nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate."
    In June, the AP spoke with Catholic and evangelical church leaders who opposed the nomination. "If he arrives, he'll suffer and will be forced to leave," Vicar Pablo Cedano, told the AP. He said the pick showed "a lack of respect, of consideration, that they send us that kind of person as ambassador." Rev. Cristobal Cardozo, leader of the Dominican Evangelical Fraternity, said the appointment was offensive. "It's an insult to good Dominican customs," he said.
    Brewster was a fundraiser for Obama and currently works at the Chicago consulting firm SB&K.#
    Last edited by Fisherking; 07-12-2013 at 09:00.


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  2. #2
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    Story here: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/po...mbassador_pick

    I am just looking for opinions here. Try to see it as a diplomatic issue, not a gay rights issue.

    Like most all Ambassadors his main qualifications are bringing in $500,000 or more to the election campaign.

    Would it not be wiser to send him as Ambassador to the EU, (which is also open) or some place where he faces less opposition? Aren’t ambassadors supposed to be popular with the places we send them?
    OK - well the story is behind a wall - so I'll wing it.

    If the Dominicans don't like the look of him - there's no point sending him. Thumbing another country over what you consider to be a Human Rights issue is pointless and undiplomatic.

    HOWEVER - the US can't withdraw it's pick, because that makes the US look weak.

    Epic Diplomatic Fail - the only face-saving recourse is for the proposed Ambassador to suddenly discover a love of gardening in the US and retire from Public Life.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    ok, I put it in a spoiler and the author is cited.

    Hope that helps.


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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    The role of an ambassador is an important one and should be carefully picked based on how well they represent your country and how well they get along with the host nation.

    The role isn't solely chosen by the guest nation. The host nation has a say in if they want or do not want them.

    So Domenican Republic gets to accept or reject the ambassador. The reciprical response would then for the US to do the same to the current Domenican Ambassador. If they were really upset they also pull back some aid programs as a wrist slap.
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    This isn't a diplomatic issue, this is a gay rights issue.

    The Dominicans need to learn what that human rights charter they signed means in practice. When faced with backward people, one must bring enlightenment.

    Fortunately for the US, Dominica isn't a country big enough to matter to the US, so things like this can be done without risking any bad consequences.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    This isn't a diplomatic issue, this is a gay rights issue.

    The Dominicans need to learn what that human rights charter they signed means in practice. When faced with backward people, one must bring enlightenment.

    Fortunately for the US, Dominica isn't a country big enough to matter to the US, so things like this can be done without risking any bad consequences.
    Really? And I thought it was about rewarding campaign contributors without doing too much damage.

    Diplomacy has a lot to do with not upsetting the people you want to make friends with.

    You seem to think it is governments job to force your views on other nations.

    It would be an interesting experiment if we could set you up as an Enlightened Dictator and see how long it took before you were embroiled in some international incident or rebellion.


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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Meh, everybody's a bit wrong in this situation.

    We (the USA) shouldn't be rocking the boat unnecessarily by sending someone as ambassador whom the host country finds offensive.

    They (DR) should respect our choice of ambassador, unless that person is explicitly hostile to their nation. (Example: No neo-nazi ambassadors to Israel.)

    Thought experiment:

    Let's say we send a female ambassador to Saudi Arabia. This pisses them off, because women should be neither seen nor heard, and by showing her wrists and ankles she's clearly asking to be raped.

    Do we respect Saudi sensibilities? Or as the country determining our own ambassador, do we politely tell them to suck it?
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    Let's say we send a female ambassador to Saudi Arabia. This pisses them off, because women should be neither seen nor heard, and by showing her wrists and ankles she's clearly asking to be raped.
    Well, that's the thing: we never did and likely never will. Saudis won't tolerate us getting stupid with them. Dominicans shouldn't either, they should expel him.
    "And if the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war." - William Tecumseh Sherman

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by rvg View Post
    Saudis won't tolerate us getting stupid with them.
    But they will, apparently, tolerate stupidity from Georgia.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    But they will, apparently, tolerate stupidity from Georgia.
    Okay, then let's pack up the gay guy and send him to Ryadh. Let's see how well that goes.
    "And if the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war." - William Tecumseh Sherman

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by rvg View Post
    Okay, then let's pack up the gay guy and send him to Ryadh. Let's see how well that goes.
    I think the gayness is distracting you. Consider a larger context of various conditions, such as vagina possession, which nations may find offensive. Might help you consider the question of who-owes-who-what in terms of ambassadors a little more impartially.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    I think the gayness is distracting you. Consider a larger context of various conditions, such as vagina possession, which nations may find offensive. Might help you consider the question of who-owes-who-what in terms of ambassadors a little more impartially.
    What's distracting me is our seeming lack of common sense in picking that ambassador. I do not have a problem with gay ambassadors, I have a problem with sending them to places where they put America at a disadvantage simply by being who they are. As the guy suggested, we could have picked a gay ambassador for, say, Iceland, and there wouldn't have been a problem. Why raise absolutely needless controversy where it can be so easily avoided? We won't send him to China now would we?
    "And if the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war." - William Tecumseh Sherman

    “The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do.” - Warren Buffett

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    So it sounds like there is nothing to discuss, just the usual ...

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Precisely.
    "And if the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war." - William Tecumseh Sherman

    “The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do.” - Warren Buffett

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Really there are about 6 or 7 ambassador posts open. But now it seems like we are going into face saving mode, on both sides.

    It is not something we need. I just hope Obama doesn’t go into Legacy mode like Clinton did.

    It is one thing to try and bring about change in ones own country. Trying to foist things on other peoples just makes us look more like arrogant jerks to everyone else.
    Last edited by Fisherking; 07-12-2013 at 21:51.


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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    It is an odd choice. Embassies are a relational exchange.
    Its all very well for the USA to appoint a gay ambassador; sending the message that these things don't count "for us"; but to send one where such a thing does count conveys the message "we don't care what you think"...not very diplomatic.

    Still, the USA can march behind the brass band and proclaim they are pointing to the future it! Get in line!!
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    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    This isn't a diplomatic issue, this is a gay rights issue.

    The Dominicans need to learn what that human rights charter they signed means in practice. When faced with backward people, one must bring enlightenment.

    Fortunately for the US, Dominica isn't a country big enough to matter to the US, so things like this can be done without risking any bad consequences.
    As nobody will deal with the Ambassador, this is a pointless exercise.

    A big part of picking battles is avoiding ones you'll lose. In this case, Sending a Gay ambassador (even such an un-fabulous one) will not improve the Dominicans' impression of homosexuals, nor will it improve the standing of the US.

    It's the same mindset that says you can bring democracy by invading a country and destroying it's political system.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


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    Insomniac and tired of it Senior Member Slyspy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    The US can do just about anything they like to the Dominican Republic since, in the grand scheme of things, the DR doesn't matter a jot. The only fall out would be strained relations with third parties but even that is only important if the DR's friends are important enough and/or upset enough to make a proper fuss, which they aren't.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla View Post
    It's the same mindset that says you can bring democracy by invading a country and destroying it's political system.
    So it's basically a consistent application of traditional US diplomacy?

    As for the topic, I didn't know that this was such a huge problem, I always thought diplomats talk to local politicans and don't end up in bed with them but I may be wrong.
    So what if our country elected a lesbian chancellor and then sent her to Riyadh or the DR to talk about us selling them tanks? Would they not want our tanks anymore? I think I just had an idea...


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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Wow. A gay ambassador is stretched to an invasion and destruction of an entire political system.

    Get a grip.

    This ambassador will do just fine. Better than the few hundred thousand gay people in Dominica, who have probably never had a public figure to identify with. Now they do. Those are the ones we should care about, not the screaming fundamentalists.

    Fundamentalists are always to be ignored, wherever they are.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    So it's basically a consistent application of traditional US diplomacy?

    As for the topic, I didn't know that this was such a huge problem, I always thought diplomats talk to local politicans and don't end up in bed with them but I may be wrong.
    So what if our country elected a lesbian chancellor and then sent her to Riyadh or the DR to talk about us selling them tanks? Would they not want our tanks anymore? I think I just had an idea...
    Since the Germans started building tanks, nobody wants British tanks.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Opposition to President Obama's nominee for U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic reached a fever pitch this week as religious organizers stage a "Lunes Negro" or Black Monday protest against James "Wally" Brewster.
    If confirmed, Brewster will be the first openly gay ambassador to the country, a prospect that is not going over well with some segments of this conservative Christian country of 9 million people. Local reports indicate that church leaders are pressuring the government to reject Brewster's nomination and calling on the faithful to dress in black on Monday in solidarity against him.
    Praise Christian Church Pastor Sauford Medrano is quoted in Diario Libre as saying that Brewster could cause "the U.S. promotion of gender beliefs in the country." That supposedly violates a general education law in the country that "all the Dominican education system is based on Christian principles."
    More evidence that Christianity has become the driving force of hatred and repression in this hemisphere.
    Last edited by PanzerJaeger; 07-13-2013 at 20:15.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJaeger View Post
    More evidence that Christianity has become the driving force of hatred and repression in this hemisphere.
    It is a conservative Catholic country with conservative clergy. There are gay rights in the DR and they have had a gay pride parade in the capital every year for the last decade.

    The government at first excepted the idea of a gay ambassador but had to withdraw because of public pressure.

    The Cardinal has preached that it shows a lack of respect for the US to do this and it really has people up in arms.

    I am not convinced it is just hate for gays. More likely it is a respect thing and the church demonstrating their political clout to the government.


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    Apr 04-Nov 11 Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    So it's disrespectful to appoint a gay man as an ambassador?

    Doesn't that mean we are right back were we started?

    In what relam does that make this better?
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  25. #25
    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama's Gay Ambassador Pick

    Who said it did?

    International diplomacy is conducted on a first grade level, or have you not noticed?

    If you call us a name, we call you a name. If you kick out some of our people out, we do the same.

    It is a game of tit-for-tat. You would thing that supposedly intelligent adults could reach some understandings and get over some of this stuff, but it never seems to improve.

    This is The Church demonstrating political power and no one is going to worry about if it makes sense.

    Send the guy to Luxemburg or the EU if you want him rewarded for his campaign contributions and don’t take it as undermining American dignity.

    That way he can get a sizable chunk of his money back at public expense and no one gets upset. $500,000 seems to be the going rate for the position. Or we can play it this way and say those ignorant people won’t take our guy because he’s gay.

    No one seems at all upset that presidents sell these posts. That is moral and upright. It is just when someone doesn’t want the guy you want to send that people get bent out of shape. It is not like he was selected because of his great qualifications, though there is always that lie too.
    Last edited by Fisherking; 07-15-2013 at 05:41.


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