Religious leaders in the Catholic-majority Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic are protesting President Barack Obama's recent nomination of openly gay democrat James "Wally" Brewster, who played an integral role in Obama's 2012 presidential fundraising campaign, as ambassador for the country.
Those opposing Brewster's nomination are organizing a protest, known as "Lunes Negro" or "Black Monday," which will take place July 15 and include peaceful marches as well as the donning of black clothing, black bandanas, or black decorations on vehicles.
Although the country's government has released a statement supporting the nomination of Brewster, religious leaders in the country have contested the appointment, arguing that it is an offense to Dominican customs and religious principles regarding homosexuality.
The leaders are requesting that Dominican President Danilo Medina's administration outwardly rejects Brewster as an ambassador.
The Rev. Cristobal Cardozo, leader of the Dominican Evangelical Fraternity, told the Associated Press that he is worried about the message Brewster's presence in the country may send.
"It's an insult to good Dominican customs," Cardozo said.
Additionally, Vicar Pablo Cedano, the archbishop of the country's capital of Santo Domingo, criticized the nomination as "a lack of respect, of consideration, that they send us that kind of person as ambassador," according to the AP.
"If he arrives, he'll suffer and will be forced to leave," Cedano added, although he did not elaborate.
In spite of the blacklash from the religious community, the Dominican Republic's government has released a statement saying it approves of Obama's nomination of the potential ambassador.
According to The Cable, the Dominican embassy in Washington D.C. released a statement saying that the Caribbean island's government is welcoming of Brewster's nomination.
"The Dominican Republic is a democracy with a vibrant media and a wide diversity of opinions on every conceivable topic," the statement read.
"However, it is the position of the Government of the Dominican Republic that a person´s sexual preference is strictly a personal matter and it looks forward to working constructively with Mr. Brewster in his official capacity once his nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate," the statement added.
Brewster currently works as a managing partner at his Chicago-based marketing company SB&K, and served as one of President Obama's primary "bundlers" during his 2012 campaign for re-election as president.
As a "bundler," Brewster reportedly fundraised over $500,000 from his contacts for the Obama campaign.
Brewster now awaits the approval of the U.S. Senate before he is officially elected as ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
He would be the seventh openly-gay U.S. ambassador.