Last week, President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate diplomat Ted Osius to become the next U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam. If confirmed, Osius would become the seventh openly LGBT person that the Obama Administration has nominated to serve as an ambassador abroad. With more than 90 million citizens, Vietnam is the world’s 13th most populous country.
Osius is a former career diplomat who has served in Indonesia, India, Thailand, the Vatican, Philippines, and Vietnam, and was a senior advisor for international affairs in the Clinton Administration for former Vice President Al Gore. Currently, he is a professor at the National War College. Osius is married and has one son.
Vietnam does not recognizes same-sex marriage even though the Vietnamese health minister recommended legalization, citing research which shows that stigmatization faced by LGBT people can have serious health consequences. This month, the National Assembly will finish two years of deliberation on amendments to the Law on Marriage and Family and legislators may consider provisions acknowledging the existence of gay couples for the first time.
HRC commends President Obama for continuing his commitment to advancing qualified LGBT Americans for high office, and we urge the Senate to confirm Osius before the end of this legislative session.