Friday 17 Aug 2018 | 15:10 | SYDNEY
Friday 17 Aug 2018 | 15:10 | SYDNEY

Making a statement with ambassadors


Sam Roggeveen


9 October 2009 13:05

Andrew Sullivan has been on the Obama Administration's case for some time now over its reluctance to back up its election rhetoric on gay rights. That Obama has just named a gay man as America's ambassador to New Zealand does not mollify Sullivan, who wants a more pointed piece of symbolism:

Ronald Reagan also used an ambassadorship to send a symbolic message: he appointed a black man as ambassador to apartheid South Africa. So why not appoint an openly gay ambassador to, say, Jamaica?

(Anti-gay violence is common in Jamaica, with the latest example the murder of a British diplomat.)

I'm a bit of a student of the Reagan presidency but I had no idea he'd done this. I would love to know how the apartheid regime reacted to the appointment. I'd like to think itĀ happened a bit like this: