Gay Ambassador to Australia Marries in D.C.

John Berry, U.S. ambassador to Australia, married his partner of 17 years, Curtis Yee, on Saturday.

John Berry, the newly confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Australia, married his longtime partner in Washington, D.C., Saturday, reports the Washington Blade.

Berry and his partner, Curtis Yee, have been together for 17 years, and married in a ceremony at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, according to the Blade.

Before being confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to Australia, Berry served as director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management from April 2009 to April of this year, making him the highest-ranking openly gay official in the executive branch. Berry has also worked for the Smithsonian Institution, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Department of the Interior, and the Treasury Department, and he was once an aide to Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

Since Berry was confirmed to the ambassadorship by a Senate voice vote last month, he becomes the first openly gay ambassador to a G-20 nation. He joins four other openly gay U.S. ambassadors, including the ambassador to neighboring New Zealand and Samoa, Spain ambassador James Costos, and Denmark ambassador Rufus Gifford.

While Australia does not currently embrace marriage equality, incumbent prime minister and labor leader Kevin Rudd said in a debate this weekend that if reelected, he and his party will introduce a bill establishing marriage equality within his term’s first 100 days.

by Sunnivie Brydum
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