Bush's Surgeon General nominee 'deeply troubled' by anti-gay bias claims

July 16, 2007

Dr. James Holsinger
WASHINGTON, DC — President Bush's surgeon general nominee, Dr. James Holsinger, blasted critics Thursday for claiming that he’s holds “anti-gay” views, in spite of a 1991 paper he wrote that gay advocates perceive as homophobic.

"I am deeply troubled personally by these claims, which do not reflect who I am, what I believe or how I have practiced medicine for the past 40 years," Holsinger told senators at his confirmation hearing, reports Reuters.

"Questions have been raised about my faith and about my commitment to the health and well-being of all Americans, including gay and lesbian Americans," Holsinger told the senators, reports Reuters.

According to the Associated Press, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, asked Holsinger on several occasions to address various aspects of his paper on homosexuality for a study committee of the United Methodist Church.

Holsinger said it was not intended to be a scientific paper and that he relied on the information available to him at the time. He emphasized that the data he relied on came from the mid-1980s. He also said it represents a literature search that was done for him through a library.

Holsinger, chosen by Bush in May to be the nation's top doctor, testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which considers his nomination before any vote by the full Senate. He was nominated to succeed Dr. Richard Carmona, who finished his term last year.

Gay rights groups opposed Holsinger's nomination to be the nation's top doctor, faulting a document he wrote in 1991 titled "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality."

Written to a United Methodist Church panel studying homosexuality, Holsinger offered exhaustive anatomical details to describe anal sex as unnatural.

"The misuse of science gravely concerns me," Kennedy said, reports Reuters. Holsinger, a cardiologist, has served as Kentucky state health chief and University of Kentucky Medical Center chancellor. He served more than 30 years in the Army Reserve. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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