QUEER VOICES

U.S. Senate Appoints Four Openly Gay Ambassadors

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 01:  Joined by members of the Senate Democratic leadership, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) speaks during
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 01: Joined by members of the Senate Democratic leadership, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a brief news conference after lawmakers failed to move the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill forward before the summer recess with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) at the U.S. Capitol August 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was able to rally Senate Republicans to vote against cloture, saying the move was 'symbolic significance' for the upcoming autum budget fight. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In a groundbreaking decision by the U.S. Senate, four openly gay Americans were appointed as ambassadors during a voice vote Aug. 1 with no opposition.

John Berry will serve as Ambassador to Australia, the first openly gay ambassador to a G-20 country, in addition to James Costos as ambassador to Spain, Rufus Gifford as ambassador to Denmark, and Daniel Baer as ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Buzzfeed reports.

The Senate also voted to appoint openly gay Stuart Delery as assistant attorney general for the Civil Division, who argued in court for the Obama administration that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.

Notably, one nominee for ambassadorship, James “Wally” Brewster, did not receive his appointed position following outrage in the Dominican Republic over Obama's choice of an openly gay politician.

"It is a testament to President Obama and the U.S. Senate that the sexual orientation of these nominees was irrelevant to their qualifications for their posts, as it should be," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement to Buzzfeed. "All Americans should be proud to have these fine public servants representing the interests of the United States."

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