- The Washington Times - Friday, July 12, 2013

The Catholic-dominated Dominican Republic is in an uproar over President Obama’s selection of openly gay James “Wally” Brewster as ambassador, and religious leaders are calling for a national protest, “Black Monday.”

The protest will take place on July 15, and participants are asked to wear black clothing and black bandanas, and decorate their vehicles with black items, The Christian Post reported.

The protesters want Dominican President Danilo Medina to publicly denounce the candidate — who has also come under fire by other long-serving U.S. ambassadors who see favoritism in the pick. Mr. Brewster raised more than $500,000 for Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, CNN reported.

But in the Caribbean, it’s Mr. Brewster’s homosexuality that’s ignited anger. It’s an offense to the nation, religious leader say.

“It’s an insult to good Dominican customs,” said Rev. Critobal Cardozo, who leads the Dominican Evangelical Fraternity, in The Christian Post.

And from Vicar Pablo Cedano, the archbishop of the nation’s capital, Santo Domingo: The nomination of Mr. Brewster shows “a lack of respect, of consideration,” and “if he arrives, he’ll suffer and will be forced to leave.”

The nation’s official stance on the nomination, however, is vastly different. The government sent a statement to Washington, D.C., saying “The Dominican Republic is a democracy with a vibrant media and a wide diversity of opinions on every conceivable topic. However, it is the position of the government … that a person’s sexual preference is strictly a personal matter and it looks forward to working constructively with Mr. Brewster.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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