This series contains two United States diplomatic passports for Ambassador David Huebner, Ambassadour to New Zealand and Samoa from 2009-2014, and his husband, Dr. Duane E. McWaine and four challenge coins issued by Ambassadour Huebner during his time in office. Huebner was nominated to the post by President Obama in October 2009. He was confirmed by the United States Senate in November 2009. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Huebner introduced his partner of twenty years, Dr. Duane E. McWaine; the hearing was held on the couple's 20th wedding anniversary, which Huebner acknowledged in his remarks. He was the first openly gay ambassdor in the Obama administration and the third openly gay ambassador in United States history. Huebner was sworn in by Vice President Joseph Biden in December 2009. Dr. McWaine is the first same-sex spouse of an ambassador to be identified as a spouse in his passport.
This addendum also includes four challenge coins issued during Huebner's term of office. "A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion (usually military), bearing an organization's insignia or emblem and carried by the organization's members. Traditionally, they are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members. In practice, challenge coins are normally presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization." (Wikipedia, accessed 2014 July 8.) The coins commemorate the 70th anniversary of U.S. and New Zealand bilaterial relations; 175 years of U.S. diplomatic presence in New Zealand (picturing Jame Reddy Clendon, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rangitiaria Dennan); Samoa decorated with the U.S., Samoan, and Rainbow flags on the reverse; and New Zealand, decorated with the U.S., New Zealand, and Rainbow flags on the reverse.
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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution