U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte, who had come under fire in part due to controversial cultural comments in the Salvadorian press, was confirmed to her post in El Salvador by a 62-37 vote in the Senate on Thursday.
A number of pro-family groups in El Salvador and the U.S. appealed to Senators to vote against Ambassador Aponte after she had an Op-Ed published in El Salvador encouraging support for LGBT lifestyles. For example, Liberty Counsel Action sent a letter to Senators declaring, “In June 2011, Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte published an article in a local Salvadoran newspaper denouncing the country’s decision to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman…. The confirmation of Mari Carmen Aponte would confirm to the Salvadorian people a complete disregard and disrespect for their views and fundamental beliefs.”
Senate Democrats defended Ambassador Aponte. In a November meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) highlighted that Ambassador Aponte’s Op-Ed was written in accordance with a cable from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in conjunction with last year’s proclamation of LGBT Pride Month by President Obama. He stated, “Based upon the text provided by the [State] Department, in essence, a demarche to the Ambassador, similar editorials were written across the world and events were held by other posts worldwide as well.”
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations