Local March 15, 2016 | 7:28 am

Dominican Republic bishops harden stance against gay US envoy

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Episcopal Conference on Mondayasked the government to lodge a formal protest to Washington for what they affirmare "the excesses of its ambassador in Dominican soil."

The Catholic bishops said US envoy James W. Brewster and hishusband Bob Satawake show "little respect for the customs of oursociety" and violate the Constitution and the Vienna Convention on diplomaticties.

"We know we are in times of elections, and that thetrend is to leave most decisions for after May. But an offense against ourcountry without proper reaction would send the message that foreigners can cometo abuse of their position without consequences," the prelates said in astatement.

The leaders of the country’s Catholic church sayd the couple"show children a family model that is incompatible with what is establishedin Article 55 of the Constitution,” and exceed their commitments asrepresentatives of a foreign government, in their view, violating paragraph 1of the Vienna Convention that specifies: "Without prejudice to theirprivileges and immunities, Article 41 says that all persons enjoying suchprivileges and immunities should respect the laws and regulations of the host State.They are also obligated not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State."

They said that although the US embassy in the country discardedthe threat to repeal visas, "there is always the fear (people) to expressthemselves for fear that their (US) visa will be canceled."

They also questioned the denial that funds wouldn’t beprovided to candidates who support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender(LGBT) community initiatives. "Who can guarantee that, ultimately, thefunding constituted won’t be allocated, even covertly?"

"Ideological colonization"

According to the Episcopal Conference, the public actions ofthe US envoy and his husband “clearly come from ideological colonization’s"citing the pope Francis’ words on threats which the family lives under.

They said that exhibition with his husband in public andprivate schools "has caused a great ill feeling in their parents, who havethe right to define how to educate their children."

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