Ted Osius “a known gay politician” has been nominated to be the next ambassador to Vietnam, replacing David Shear who has held the position since 2011, thanhniennews.com reported.
Osius is married to Clayton Bond, an officer with the US Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs. The same-sex couple has a son.
The couple met in Washington, DC at a monthly business meeting of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies– the officially organization representing gay and lesbian personnel and their families in the U.S. Department of State and offices in the U.S. Government, reports state.gov.
They were married in Vancouver, Canada, and had a commitment ceremony in Ted’s home state of Maryland, it added.
According to the US Embassy in Hanoi, Osius served as a political officer at the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City and the US Embassy in Hanoi from 1997 to 2001, before being positioned in Thailand and Indonesia. He also served in the Philippines, India, and South Korea.
Other positions he has held include: Staff Aide and Political Officer at the United States Mission to the United Nations, Political and Management Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Vatican City.
Osius is currently an Associate Professor at the Washington D.C. based National War College.
His appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam is unlikely to be controversial as Vietnam legislators are set to make history by enshrining into law provisions acknowledging the existence of same-sex couples and becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize such marriages.
Vietnamese lawmakers have alreadyscrapped fines against same-sex marriage under a decree taking effect past November but the proposed Family and Marriage Bill has not yet officially recognized same-sex marriage which in all likelihood is to be done soon.
Vietnam’s National Assembly has already concluded two years of deliberation on amendments to the law.
This is particularly remarkable given that until 2000 it was illegal for gay couples to even live together same-sex relations was only taken off Vietnam’s official list of mental illnesses in 2001.
Vietnam’s progress on gay rights is in stark contrast to the laws that criminalize same-sex relations in nearby Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar.