Joe Biden Swears in David Huebner for New Zealand Ambassadorship — Kiwi Ambassador to US Says on Prospect of Uptick in Gay Tourism “Bring It On!”

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Huebner Biden.jpg
I just had the privilege of attending the swearing-in ceremony for my old friend David Huebner as the next US Ambassador to New Zealand.
Demonstrating the importance of this appointment to the White House, Vice President Joe Biden gave the oath to the openly gay lawyer turned diplomat.
The bible on which the oath of office was sworn was held by Huebner’s partner, and now husband, of more than 20 years, Duane McWaine — who is putting his Los Angeles-based psychiatry practice on hold In Los Angeles to accompany his spouse to New Zealand. Joe Biden paid particular tribute to the role that McWaine would be playing and credited the many significant others and spouses that make such sacrifices for the American people.
The South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building was packed with well-wishers including Ambassador of New Zealand to the US Roy Ferguson.
I sat next to Ferguson and told him that he was likely to see a real uptick in tourism from bright and festive gay Americans who want to journey to New Zealand to check in with Ambassador Huebner and Dr. McWaine, who are clearly one of America’s newly recognized power couples.
Ambassador Ferguson’s reply: “Bring it on!”
Gay icon and human rights activist Frank Kameny attended and was recognized by Vice President Biden on his way out of the hall as a “truly famous American. . .like a really, really famous American” as Biden went over to shake Kameny’s hand.
White House Deputy Director for Public Outreach Brian Bond did a great job, from what I could see, of bringing many communities together — but many leading GLBT leaders — to this swearing in of Barack Obama’s first gay Ambassador.
Obama campaign National LGBT Finance Committee Co-Chair and former GLAAD Executive Director Joan Garry sat to my left. Administration staff members Kei Koizumi and Ajit Joshi were there wearing GLIFAA pins (Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies).
Joe Biden acknowledged openly the administration’s support of appointing people to positions of national service from all walks — including the diversity of sexual orientation — but also said that Huebner was a widely acknowledged, brilliant lawyer involved with many successful cases of high powered conflict resolution and that he was nominated by the President to this post because of all of his skills and for deciding early in his life, as Sir Edmund Hilary once said, “not just to be extraordinary person” but rather to commit to “accomplishing extraordinary things.”
It turns out that Huebner and Biden are both from the same part of Pennsylvania — Huebner from Mahanoy City and Biden from Scranton.
It was a great swearing-in to attend — and excellent to see the administration reaching out as it did to members of the GLBT community to be part of this.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

11 comments on “Joe Biden Swears in David Huebner for New Zealand Ambassadorship — Kiwi Ambassador to US Says on Prospect of Uptick in Gay Tourism “Bring It On!”

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “When you people start accepting and respecting us as real equals, we won’t have to demand that society take note of such personal characteristics”
    Whats with this “you people” bullshit? Don’t put me in some predetermined niche that your anger needs to judge all heteros by. I could fuckin’ care less if you are gay or not, and really don’t even need to know. If you want to be judged solely on your attributes or deficiencies, then I gotta tell ya, so far, here, you’re acting like a jackass.
    “Maybe it’s time that heterosexual Americans started looking beyond sexual orientation”
    I thought I already said that. Seems you are a bit angry at heteros, eh??? Maybe you oughta take your own advice.
    I’m not your enemy, man.

    Reply

  2. Gary says:

    PissedOffAmerican,
    You’re right – we (LGBT Americans) should be recognized solely for our skills and accomplishments. The same is true for heterosexual Americans – you should be recognized solely for your accomplishments and demonized for your negative behaviours. However, the standards for heterosexuals and for LGBT persons aren’t the same yet. Maybe it’s time that heterosexual Americans started looking beyond sexual orientation. When you people start accepting and respecting us as real equals, we won’t have to demand that society take note of such personal characteristics.
    On a side note, based on the characters below that have to be typed in (to prevent spam), this website isn’t accessible to persons who are blind and use screen readers. Let’s talk about inclusion and participation in a democracy.

    Reply

  3. mbkreuzberg says:

    This may be of your interest too, Steve. The community is growing: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/11/27/israeli-ambassador-first-to-be-accompanied-by-gay-spouse/

    Reply

  4. Roger says:

    Warm and sincere congratulations to David Huebner.
    And to Steve: “…excellent to see the administration reaching out as it did to members of the GLBT community…”, I say, bring it on!
    A good day.

    Reply

  5. David says:

    kim,
    If you are going to establish a precedent and you have the option of doing it in a supportive context, that’s where you start. But POA does hit the nail on the head (had to use the construction metaphor, POA).

    Reply

  6. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks Jim — fixed that. I must have misheard Biden…

    Reply

  7. Jim says:

    *Western* Pennsylvania?

    Reply

  8. Steven Clemons says:

    POA — totally agree with you.

    Reply

  9. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    It is sad to note that the exact number of the civilian causalities caused by the drone attack in Afghanistan and Pakistan is never correctly reported in the western media. The UNSC has to take up an action in this regard since there is scowling apprehension that by the announcement of the new Afghan policy there would be an acceleration in the drone attacks( which is an open and brazen violation of the international law signed by all the concerned members of the UN under UN’s charter,chapter seven).
    Should the doctrine of preemptive defense be given a free license to kill the innocent men, women and children?

    Reply

  10. klm says:

    Steve, why do they send a highly skilled conflict resolution lawyer to a place where there are very few diplomatic conflicts?

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I look forward to the day when one’s achievments and talents no longer take a back seat to their sexual orientation. Its wonderful that gay people are now able to accept such positions without having to hide their homosexuality, but won’t it be wonderful when society no longer needs to take note of such things?

    Reply

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