Listín Diario, a Dominican newspaper, reported that Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo made the comment about James “Wally” Brewster on Tuesday during a press conference with reporters.
“This man needs to go back to his embassy,” said López. “He should stick to housework, since he is a man’s wife.”
Brewster married his longtime partner, Bob Satawake, in 2013 on the same day that Vice President Biden swore him in as ambassador.
Listín Diario reported that López reiterated his previous criticisms that the U.S. sent Brewster to the predominantly Catholic country in order to promote an LGBT-specific agenda.
Cardinal previously used anti-gay slur to describe ambassador
López made his comments less than a week after Brewster publicly criticized corruption in the Dominican Republic.
The Archdiocese of Santo Domingo did not respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment. Brewster and Satawake discussed López’s comments in an interview with a Dominican television station that is scheduled to air on Thursday.
The outspoken cardinal in 2013 referred to Brewster as a “faggot” during a Santo Domingo press conference. López has also described gay tourists who visit the Dominican capital’s old city as “social trash” and “degenerates.”
“The ecclesiastical representation of the Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic continues to perpetuate homophobia in the country, and violence against women by relegating them to housework,” Rosanna Marzan, director of Diversidad Dominicana, a Dominican LGBT advocacy group, told the Blade on Wednesday in an email. “This man [López] should stop meddling in the private affairs of people, with his continuous speech that perpetuates discrimination against people of a different sexuality.”
Deivis Ventura, coordinator of the Amigos Siempre Amigos Network of Volunteers, a Dominican advocacy group, is a candidate for the Santo Domingo Municipal Council.
He echoed Marzan’s criticisms of López.
“He uses rhetorical expressions to demonstrate his opposition to the U.S. ambassador’s pronouncements,” Ventura told the Blade on Wednesday. “[His] insulting words show his lack of understanding of his role as a pastor in the Catholic church.”
Brewster is one of six openly gay ambassadors who represent the U.S. overseas.
“One of the key things that I want to continue to focus on as Bob and I have is to show that we’re a loving couple and we are gay,” Brewster told the Blade in June during an interview at his official residence in Santo Domingo as Satawake listened. “We are out there talking about relationships, talking about our faith and really representing the American people in a way that I think continues to promote our values.”