James Holsinger, a Kentucky cardiologist who President Bush last month nominated as the next surgeon general, might "be headed for a nomination fight," after lawmakers and gay and lesbian advocacy groups raised concern about his position on gay-rights issues, CQ Today reports (Armstrong, CQ Today, 6/8). According to some gay rights groups, Holsinger in 1991 wrote in a report for a United Methodist committee that gay sex is unnatural and potentially leads to serious health issues (Alonso-Zaldivar, Los Angeles Times, 6/9). Holsinger's "friends within the United Methodist Church and the medical community, however, are defending him as a professional who does not discriminate against people in his congregation or in his care," according to the New York Times (Banerjee, New York Times, 6/9).
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), a committee member and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, in a statement that he had "serious reservations" about the Holsinger nomination. According to the Human Rights Campaign, based on his record, Holsinger is "unworthy" of the surgeon general position (New York Times, 6/9). Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), both candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, also announced their opposition to the Holsinger nomination (Los Angeles Times, 6/9). (From the Kaiser Foundation Daily Health Policy Report)
Check out a super-special quote from Holsinger's paper from 1991, “Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality,” written for the Committee to Study Homosexuality of the United Methodist Church: "The logical complementarity of the human sexes has been so recognized in our culture that it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming various pipe fittings either the male pipe fitting or the female pipe fitting depending upon which one interlocks within the other. When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and disease may occur as noted above. Therefore, based on the simplest known anatomy and physiology, when dealing with the complementarity of the human sexes, one can simply say, Res ipsa loquitur - the thing speaks for itself!"
Holsinger also founded Hope Springs Community Church, which “ministers to people who no longer wish to be gay or lesbian,” and has supported others who have kept both gay and lesbian pastors and churchgoers out of parishes.
You really have to wonder where -- if ever -- Bush will stop trying to purposefully put highly biased people in positions where a lack of bias is key to them doing their job. He's given us a veterinarian to head the office of women's health for the FDA, an anti-abortion, anti-contraception whacko to be in charge of Title X -- the U.S. program for family planning, which includes contraceptive services, and let's not even get into his Supreme Court appointments.
And now we get a homophobe for a surgeon general, so all us queers can finally be cured and the highest medical position in the states can be held by a man who feels human sexuality can be reduced to a matter of plumbing, and that his position on sexuality is apparently easily supported by the fact that we live in a culture where binary gender constructs are so deeply entranched that we must divide everything into those two groups.
Apparently, he's also never put his Tab A into more than one kind of Slot B, either, or taken any time to review the fact that through all of human history, the vast majority of sexually transmitted disease has been spread heterosexually, and that pregnancy -- the result of his little pipe-fitting scenario -- does and always has presented enormous health risks to women for the whole of human life. But anyone amazed at this point by an absolute lack of homework-doing and/or a dismissal of facts due to a stronger love and duty to bias and ignorance by any member or potential member of the Bush administration clearly has been living under a rock.
I'd ask if it could get any worse than this, but unfortunately -- by now -- we all know that it very much can.