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Senate Confirms Ambassador Amidst Debate

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.”

  • Find the Senate vote on Ambassador Aponte.

 By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations