President Bush’s recent nominee to the position of surgeon general has a history of condemning and criticizing homosexuality, making him “unworthy” of the surgeon general’s post, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) asserts. Dr. James W. Holsinger, Jr., who was nominated by Bush in late May, wrote a paper in 1991 to present to the Committee to Study Homosexuality of the United Methodist Church, during a time when the church was considering a formal policy of condoning homosexuality. Titled “Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality,” the paper claimed that “the structure and function of the male and female human reproductive systems are fully complementary’ When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur.”
Advocacy groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights and other groups, including AIDS Action, strongly oppose Bush’s nomination. “Dr. Holsinger has a record that is unworthy of America’s doctor,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said. “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.”
Holsinger will likely face a tough confirmation hearing by the Senate. Longtime gay rights advocate Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) chairs the Senate Health Committee, which will conduct the hearing. Three Democratic presidential candidates — Senators Hillary Clinton (NY), Chris Dodd (CT), and Barack Obama (IL) — sit on the Health Committee.