Surgeon General Nominee Holsinger Says He’s Not Anti-Gay

Surgeon General nominee Dr. James Holsinger was questioned at a Senate confirmation hearing today about the 1991 paper he wrote on health and homosexuality in which he warned of “the dangers of ‘anal eroticism'”.

JamesholsingerWrote Holsinger in the paper: “In fact, 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 fitting or the female fitting depending upon which one interlocks within the other. When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur…” (The full document is available here)

Senator Edward Kennedy told the panel: “Dr. Holsinger’s paper is ideological and decidedly not an accurate analysis of the science then available on homosexuality. Dr. Holsinger’s paper cherry picks and misuses data to support his thesis that homosexuality is unhealthy and unnatural.”

According to the Associated Press, Holsinger said the paper was non-scientific and “relied on the information available to him at the time.” Said the candidate: “First of all, the paper does not represent where I am today. It does not represent who I am today. I’ve worked diligently to provide quality health care to everyone regardless of personal characteristics including sexual orientation.”

He added: I don’t think there is a place in my life as a physician to do anything inimical [to a person based on their personal or sexual characteristics]…Let me be clear: I have profound respect for the essential human dignity of all people, regardless of background or sexual orientation. I pledge to you to continue that commitment especially if I am confirmed as surgeon general.”

Following claims this week by Dr. Richard Carmona, the former surgeon general, that the Bush administration muzzled him on key issues in which his statements might affect policy, Holsinger told the panel that he would not allow politics to trump science.

Said Holsinger: “I think I have a clear response to that. I would resign.”

you may have missed…
Surgeon General Nominee Holsinger Has Broad Anti-gay Bias [tr]
As Holsinger is Scrutinized, Former Top Doc Says White House Muzzled Him [tr]


  1. sam says

    So he disowns his absurd writings from 1991, but what about his own, personal ex-gay “ministry” he started? What about his outspoken support of the Methodist minister who refused church membership to a man specifically because he was gay?

    As soon as assholes like Holzinger start claiming the’re not anti-gay, watch out. Somewhere in his dried-up raisin of a heart, he probably actually believes his own crap.

  2. Gregg says

    You can’t even really call him a liar because this is all double talk. He doesn’t say that he’s changed his mind on anything specific, just that the paper doesn’t represent “where he is today”, whatever that means. Typical political bullshit.

    Human dignity for all people says nothing about how he really feels about homosexuality as a “disease”.

    He’s scum. Like the rest of the current administration.

  3. Jonathon says

    Talk is cheap. Let’s see some action.

    For example, if his 1991 paper did “not represent where [he is] today” then what caused him to change his opinion? Be upfront about that – it would do more to explain to us what his position is today.

    Does he support “ex-gay” therapies? What is his position on that today? Does he concurr with the AMA, the APA, etc. that homosexuality is NOT a disorder?

    And finally, will he REALLY resign when someone tells him to mention Dubya’s name several times in every speech? ‘Cos you know they will!!

  4. Brian says

    Bullshit. 1991 was hardly the long-ago “dark ages”. He’s backpedaling and denying just to get the job. It’s quite clear. He has a long long publication history of simliar rantings, and should be denied confirmation.

  5. zabadak says

    Chief Justice Roberts stated in his confirmation hearings that he would uphold “judicial precident”. However, his votes have been the opposite. The Senate is full of gullable fools who will vote to confirm. It’s all about politics, winning & lies for the Tyrant Bush.

  6. Leland says

    That sound you hear is Gay Repugs everywhere once again eagerly deep throating a still steaming load from one of Massa’s lying shills.

    As I write this, we have 557 days, 9 hours, 36 minutes, and 18 seconds left under our Supreme Court-installed dictator.

  7. Wayne says

    This takes careful and thoughful consideration. I don’t know what his current views are, he hasn’t said, only stated his views from 1991 are no longer valid. Many of my views/opinions from 1991 are no longer valid either. I’m not saying I believe he’ll represent everyone without malice of forethought, but I will give him a chance to make his case before I judge him on his past actions. I wouldn’t want to be judged by some of the things I said or did 16 years ago.

  8. Brian says

    Wayne, that’s a nice sentiment, but I rather think that whether one’s 1991 opinions are germane to today’s discussion depends on what those opinions were. For example, my opinion regarding the appropriate application of fragrance has changed from 1991 (lots) to now (little to none). However, my opinions about fundamental issues of ethical behavior, fairness, and morality are absolutely no different now than they were in 1991. Barring any sort of paradigm-shifting trauma that may have fundamentally altered his worldview, I seriously doubt that Holsinger’s views have changed. The only thing that has changed is the fact that (to quote Dan Savage) homosexuality is a biblically justifiable but no longer socially acceptable bias. Holsinger has changed in that he has decreased the frequency with which he expresses his bigotry. The bigotry itself has not changed.

    This is likely the result of the bigotry in question being rooted in belief rather than opinions. Opinions can change pretty easily when one is provided with compelling evidence supporting the change. Beliefs, on the other hand, usually require quite a catastrophic event before one is ready to jettison them in favor of a new paradigm.

  9. Leland says

    Oh, fucking dead brain cells, Wayne! This guy is a nominee from the “Rip the Fags Out of the US Constitution-Anne Richards Might Have Been A Dyke-Will Veto Hate Crimes Bill Because It’s Too Fag Friendly-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Don’t Let the Fags in the Military” Bush Reich. What more do you need to know? Jesus, Mary, & Josephine Baker! Didn’t I just write about the gay Repugs willing to take another one? It’s WILLFULLY naive fools like you that are the greatest obstacle to full gay equality not those attacking it directly. GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. says

    Are there any gay repubs willing to stand up for their party now?

    Or do you guys only come out of the woodwork when something like Al Gore’s son gets caught speeding with meds?


  11. Tom says

    I remember Roberts, Alito, Scalia and of course the “high tech lynching” dog and pony show put on by Thomas’s supporters. These nominees are coached and rehearsed by Cheney and WH staffers to get through these hearings. They know what’s going to be asked and by whom and have ready answers to sidestep or outright lie to win confirmation. In the Bush administration the lie has been elevated to a crude art form.

    If this Holsinger fascist isn’t confirmed, Bush and company will trot out someone even more despicable. That’s how they work.

    The damage done by this administration will take decades if not generations to correct. As bad as we think things are, the MAJORITY of Republicans still support this President and almost a THIRD of this nation does too. Despite everything, I still see plenty of Bush/Cheney stickers on bumpers every day of the week. And so far no one has really stood up to this regime. Except for the immigration bill he has got everything he’s wanted. Holsinger is only a symptom of our nation’s serious disease. The malignancy grows unabated.

  12. Dean says

    Tom, I- in terror- agree with you.

    I’ve often wondered how on earth the Nazi party was allow to commit the atrocities they did. Why would the German people let them get away with such things?

    Now I know.

  13. Wayne says

    I figured you’d all take the bait. What a bunch of shallow, bitter, negative people you are. Go ahead and throw stones… As I said, He may still be a bigot and misinformed, but I won’t judge him by what happened 16 years ago. My family was a bunch of Texas bigots 16 years ago because they didn’t know I was gay. They used the words “fag” all the time and truly thought it was a choice and that all homosexuals should be destroyed. Then I came out, they got educated, and now they march in protests, my mom is on the board of several gay charities in her city, and my whole family went on a gay cruise with my partner and I last month.

    It’s sad to think that those of you who feel you represent the entire gay community (and yes, that appears to be most of you) really don’t. You only represent the tired bitter screaming reasons that others want to destroy you for.

    Keep it up guys, and enjoy your miserable, lonely lives…I’m heading to the airport for 2 weeks in Spain. I’ll check back when I return to see how you’ve burned and attacked me.

  14. Dean says

    Wayne… as I see it, only two people responded to your comment and one of those was hardly insulting to you. In fact, it was a very intelligent, mature rebuttal… with which I happen to agree.

    It’s all very well to give someone the benefit of the doubt, but as yet this individual has made no definitive statements that would lead one to believe he has changed. Until such time as he does, myself and other gay people quite rightly view him with [tons of] suspicion.

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