The letter sent to President Danilo Medina’s administration and the Dominican Ministry of Foreign Affairs specifically cites the “intent” of the White House and the U.N. “to create the right conditions to morally deprive our adolescents in school by imposing upon them sexuality classes that have as basic text a manual that invites children to begin practicing gay and lesbian practices while in secondary school.”
“This initiative to turn our adolescents gay early on is an initiative of the U.S. government that is run by a homosexual and represented by another homosexual in the Dominican Republic,” reads the letter that Al Momento, a Dominican newspaper, published on its website on Wednesday.
The letter specifically criticizes James “Wally” Brewster and his husband, Bob Satawake, for “freely” taking part in last year’s Pride parade in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. The letter also references a picture of “a group” of gay men who were “semi-naked and hugging each other” in the pool of Brewster and Satawake’s official residence that a Dominican newspaper published.
“We view this invitation to public homosexuality as an indecency and a lack of decorum that shames the modesty of the majority of the Dominican population that neither shares in homosexual practices or practices their sexuality in promiscuous environments,” it says.
Dozens of Dominican LGBT rights activists and advocacy groups in a strongly worded statement criticized those who signed the letter.
“The absurd and homo/lesbo/bi/transphobic violence that takes place every day in practically the entire country and its institutions, including those who call themselves progressive, is found in the intellectuals’ letter that is calling for the U.S. ambassador’s head,” the statement reads. “It is evident that while many families; schools and churches do not encourage these expressions of violence, they allow them to take place.”
Pooja Jhunjhunwala, a spokesperson for the State Department, also rebuked the letter.
“We disagree in the strongest of terms with these characterizations of Ambassador Brewster and our foreign policy,” Jhunjhunwala told the Blade, noting efforts in support of LGBT rights are part of U.S. foreign policy that seeks to promote human rights around the world. “Ambassador Brewster, like all U.S. ambassadors, advances this policy along with all other aspects of the U.S. relationship with the Dominican Republic.”
Anti-gay slur used to describe U.S. ambassador
Brewster has faced persistent criticism from Dominican religious officials since President Obama nominated him to represent the U.S. in the Caribbean country in 2013.
Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo last month said Brewster is a “faggot” who wants to promote “faggotry.” López during a recent interview with a Dominican newspaper described the married gay ambassador as a “wife” who “should stick to housework.”
Neither the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo nor the Vatican returned the Blade’s requests for comment on López’s use of anti-gay slurs to describe Brewster.
The Blade has reached out to the Dominican government for comment on the letter.