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3181HRC: Holsinger's Anti-Gay Views Make Him 'Unworthy' of Surgeon General Post

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  • umcornet
    Jun 10, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      For Immediate Release:
      Monday, June 4, 2007

      HOLSINGER'S ANTI-GAY VIEWS MAKE HIM 'UNWORTHY' OF SURGEON GENERAL POST

      'It is essential that America's top doctor value sound science over
      anti-gay ideology,' said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

      WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign spoke out today in opposition
      to President Bush's nomination of Dr. James Holsinger to the position
      of surgeon general. Among other things, the U.S. surgeon general is
      charged with educating Americans about public health.

      "Dr. Holsinger has a record that is unworthy of America's doctor,"
      said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "His writings
      suggest a scientific view rooted in anti-gay beliefs that are
      incompatible with the job of serving the medical health of all
      Americans. It is essential that America's top doctor value sound
      science over anti-gay ideology."

      In a document titled "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality,"
      Holsinger opined, in his capacity as a physician, that biology and
      anatomy precluded considering gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
      equality in his denomination. The opinion very clearly states that
      this is his scientific view, stating that theological views are
      separate.

      Additionally, Holsinger and his wife were founders of Hope Springs
      Community Church which, according to the church's pastor, ministers to
      people who no longer wish to be gay or lesbian. The pastor, the Rev.
      David Calhoun, said that the church has an "ex-gay" ministry. "We see
      that as an issue not of orientation but a lifestyle," Calhoun said.
      "We have people who seek to walk out of that lifestyle." This type of
      "ex-gay" conversion therapy has been condemned by almost every major,
      reputable medical organization — including the American Psychological
      Association, which issued a condemnation more than 10 years ago.

      "Although the church's theology isn't being nominated, this
      discredited practice purports to be a psychological and medical
      service, and if Dr. Holsinger is involved in any way, it conflicts
      with his duty to accept and promote sound science in the interest of
      public health," continued Solmonese.

      "We are hopeful that during the hearing process Congress will fully
      examine Dr. Holsinger's background and part of that examination will
      include issues affecting our community, including his stance on
      conversion therapy. Too often, we have seen President Bush send
      nominees to Congress that have proven their inability to separate
      their personal beliefs from their professional duties. As the nation's
      chief medical doctor, the office of surgeon general is an extremely
      important position that has an impact on the lives of gay and lesbian
      Americans and the hearing process should involve a discussion about
      where Dr. Holsinger stands on medical issues relating to our
      community," Solmonese concluded.

      The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights
      organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
      equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end
      discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that
      achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.