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Post submitted by Remington A. Gregg, former HRC Legislative Counsel

Last night, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ted Osius to become U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam.  Osius becomes the seventh openly LGBT individual to be confirmed as an ambassador during the Obama Administration.  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 during the Clinton Administration.  Osius is married and has one son.

Currently, 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. 

HRC commends President Obama for his continuing commitment to nominating qualified LGBT Americans to represent America broad.  Domestically, the Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to vote for Robert Pittman to be a district judge in the Western District of Texas this week. He will need to be confirmed by the full Senate before the end of the current Congress, or be renominated next year. If confirmed by the full Senate, Pittman would be the fifteenth openly-LGBT federal judicial appointee.

HRC continues to urge the Administration to nominate openly LGBT individuals to serve in senior positions within cabinet agencies and the White House to ensure that qualified LGBT individuals have a seat at the table when important decisions are made.

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