US: Obama nominates gay man as ambassador to Vietnam

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Barack Obama has nominated a gay diplomat to be the US ambassador to Vietnam, the first appointment of a gay US ambassador in Asia.

Ted Osius, a diplomat who previously served as a Deputy at embassies in Indonesia and India, was appointed to the post yesterday, replacing outgoing ambassador David Shear.

Osius is married to Clayton Bond, an officer with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, and the pair have a young son together.

Announcing several appointments, Obama said: “I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people.

“I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

Osius is the sixth gay ambassador nominated by Obama, and the first one to be appointed to Asia.

According to LGBTQ Nation, the gay Obama appointees he follows are Daniel Baer (OSCE), John Berry (Australia), James Costos (Spain), Rufus Gifford (Denmark), and Wally Brewster (Dominican Republic).

James Homel became the first gay US ambassador, when he was appointed by Bill Clinton as Ambassador to Luxembourg in 1999.

He recently said he had forgiven Defence Secretary Chuck Sagel for describing him as “aggressively gay”.

Same-sex marriages are still not recognised in Vietnam, despite recommendations from the country’s Health Ministry two years ago.