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