Dominican Republic: Don't Be On The Wrong Side Of History

I am very proud I grew up in the Dominican Republic. It's a piece of land blessed with a perfect permanent summer weather, with the noblest people you can find, and where people would go out of their way to help you out when you need them.

Because of this, it's disappointing to see how some loud fellow countrymen are promoting homophobia. In 2013, James Brewster was appointed by President Obama to be the Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Since then, political and religious leaders are promoting a very outspoken hate attack against Brewster because of his sexual orientation

As a Dominican, it was disappointing yet not surprising when the country's cardinal called him a "faggot" in a press conference denouncing his appointment.

Instead of becoming more tolerant with time, the highest representative of the Roman Catholic Church in the Caribbean nation has continued to use rhetoric towards Brewster so offensive that Senator Dick Durbin wrote to Pope Francis in protest in December 2015.

The cardinal has referred to the ambassador as a "wife, since he's married to a man" and "should go back home to take care of housework." His comments and the silence of the Vatican on this offense are not only a few dozens step backwards for universal civil rights in the Dominican Republic, but also brings the issue of gender inequality in question.

Now, the new wave of hate began after pictures appeared on social media earlier this month of the Ambassador visiting a school accompanied by his husband, Bob Satawake. Also, the Dominican Council of Evangelic Unity launched a petition on the White House's website calling for Brewster's removal that collected more than 30,000 signatures in one week.

Even though most leaders didn't sympathize with the cardinal, no Dominican leader publicly protested for this. In my opinion, that's more disappointing than the ignorance of those who live in bigotry. Leaders and influencers from the Dominican Republic prefer to stay silent since LGBT rights is still a taboo subject in the nation.

The humiliation of being publicly disrespected has not been limited to the Ambassador Brewster. His husband Bob Satawake also endured harsh comments by media leaders and the 'Men of God'.

James Brewster has been one of the best-appointed ambassadors to the Dominican Republic. He genuinely cares and loves the Dominican Republic, and he's working tirelessly to strengthen the bonds between both nations in commerce and bilateral trade that benefits both economies.

I care more about the Ambassador's good work than his sexual orientation, and it should be. The support for civil rights for every human being should not be exclusive to members of the LGBT community.

If you don't know if you're on the right side, just remember it's never right to treat people less than your equal, to promote hate and discrimination against others, and to strip of basic rights to a group of individuals who only are pursuing their happiness without harming anyone.