Obama and Dodd Speak Out Against Surgeon General Nominee

James Holsinger, nominated by George Bush to be Surgeon General, has described homosexuality as “an issue not of orientation but of lifestyle” and sees homosexuality as something which can be cured. Rev. Troy Plummer, Executive Director of Reconciling Ministries Network of United Methodists, has described his work as torture of gays and lesbians and considers his therapy to be medical malpractice:

For the last 20 years, James Holsinger has been the worst kind of bully inside the United Methodist Church. As a member of a sexuality study team in 1991, he used his position as a medical doctor to promote skewed and inaccurate information regarding gay men. As the chair of the Judicial Council, the ‘supreme court’ of the United Methodist Church, he has used his power to disregard the Constitution of the Methodist Church and block from membership faithful gay and lesbian Christians. As a pastor, he has promoted ‘reparative therapy’ — a practice that is nothing short of torture of gay and lesbian people and is not condoned by any professional psychological association; in fact, many call it medical malpractice.

Two of the Democratic candidates have released statements about this nomination. Barack Obama was the first to release a statement:

“America’s top doctor should be a doctor for all Americans, and so I have serious reservations about nominating someone who would inject his own anti-gay ideology into critical decisions about the health and well-being of our nation. As with other nominees, I will listen to the testimony of Dr. James Holsinger, but this Administration must know that the United States Surgeon General’s office is no place for bigotry or ideology that would trump sound science and good judgment.”

Christopher Dodd released the following statement:

“The nomination of James Holsinger demonstrates yet again how this Administration puts politics above the health and well-being of our nation’s citizens. I fear that Dr. Holsinger’s previous comments and actions will prevent him from representing each and every individual – the job of the Surgeon General. The upcoming nomination hearing process will be an opportunity to formally place Dr. Holsinger’s views on the record. The Bush Administration should use the position of the Surgeon General to improve and promote the Nation’s public health not to polarize it.”

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