Bush nominates ‘ex-gay’ advocate for surgeon general
James Holsinger hopes to ‘cure’ gay people
by Q-Notes staff
Surgeon General nominee Dr. James W. Holsinger supports ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President George W. Bush has nominated Dr. James W. Holsinger for U.S. Surgeon General. The LGBT anti-gay watchdog organization Truth Wins Out (TWO) has denounced the nominee, after it was revealed that he started a church in Lexington, Ky., that has a ministry to “cure” gay people.
“Holsinger is an ideologue whose medical views on gay and lesbian people resemble sorcery more than sound science,” said TWO’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The last thing America needed was another deplorable nominee who isn’t up to the job, but this is exactly what Bush delivered.”
Holsinger’s nomination will go before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, chaired by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA). Presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL), Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) all sit on this committee.
“It is clear that James Holsinger is to medicine what Alberto Gonzales is to justice,” said Besen. “It will be interesting to see where the presidential candidates stand on this troubling nomination.”
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Holsinger started Hope Springs Community Church in Lexington. The pastor, Rev. David Calhoun, said that the church has an “ex-gay” ministry.
“We see that as an issue not of orientation but of lifestyle,” Calhon said. “We have people who seek to walk out of that lifestyle.”
Holsinger also served on the Judicial Council for the United Methodist Church, where he opposed a decision to allow a lesbian to be an associate pastor. He was even so extreme that he endorsed a pastor who tried to prohibit an openly gay man from joining the church.
A new Gallup Poll shows that Holsinger is at odds with the majority of Americans. Accoring to the poll, 42 percent of Americans believe that homosexuality is innate, compared to 13 percent in 1977. And the percentage of Americans who believe homosexuality is due to factors such as upbringing and environment declined from 56 percent in 1977 to only 35 percent today. Things have reversed so completely, that even the Southern Baptist Convention’s Albert Mohler recently suggested on his website that there is the possibility of a biological basis for homosexuality.
Recently, the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) issued its first statement opposing “conversion therapy.” According to the new policy:
“The American Academy of Physician Assistants opposes any psychiatric treatment directed specifically at changing sexual orientation, such as ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her sexual orientation.”
Additionally, 10 years after it issued a statement condemning “ex-gay” therapy, the American Psychological Association announced that it had formed a task force to review current scientific research on the issue. The task force’s report is due sometime in 2008 or beyond, according to The Washington Blade.