Dr. James Holsinger, Jr. May be Hazardous to Your Health

July 9, 2007

A Message from Equality Texas.  Please take action now!

OPPOSE the Holsinger Nomination

Equality Texas opposes the nomination of Dr. James Holsinger, Jr. as Surgeon General of the United States. 

The Surgeon General serves as this country’s chief health educator by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. As “America’s Doctor”, the Surgeon General must be devoted to helping all Americans lead healthy lives and be totally committed to science.

While Dr. James Holsinger, Jr. has had an extensive medical career, he also has a long-documented history of prejudice towards lesbians and gay men. 

Dr. Holsinger’s record shows his support for reparative therapy to “cure” homosexuality.  Reparative therapy, also known as conversion therapy, has been repeatedly discredited by mainstream medical, psychiatric and psychological organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.  Reparative therapy is worse than useless.  It actually can be harmful and has been shown to lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide.  It is unreasonable to expect a medical professional who ardently advocates for scientifically unsound practices to fairly arbitrate scientific issues in the interest of public health.

In Dr. Holsinger’s 1991 paper for the United Methodist Church entitled “Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality”, he attempts to give a scientific and medical rationale for his opinions on homosexuality.  In this paper, Holsinger repeatedly misrepresents and distorts medical science, including the studies he cites in order to support his own beliefs.  Dr. Holsinger makes several fallacious claims in his paper, which were refuted by widely-published and well-respected medical and public health journals. 

Dr. Holsinger has demonstrated that he is unable to set aside his personal beliefs to openly and honestly consider scientific information.  Simply put, he has demonstrated he will sacrifice his scientific honesty in order to press his non-scientific agenda.

A Surgeon General must be committed to evidence-based science in order to serve as this country’s chief public health advocate.  Dr. James Holsinger, Jr. should NOT be the Surgeon General of the United States.

Dr. Holsinger’s confirmation hearing is this Thursday, July 12th before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  While there are no Texas Senators on the Committee, there are three (3) declared presidential candidates, Senators Clinton, Dodd, and Obama. Please take action now!


3 Responses to “Dr. James Holsinger, Jr. May be Hazardous to Your Health”

  1. John Says:

    “and be totally committed to science.” A bit overstated, and a kind of fundamentalist statement,if you ask me. Whatever the demerits of this nominee, I DON’T want someone “totally” committed to science. I want someone who realizes the limits of science, and the many horrors that “total commitment” has brought us.

  2. Jeff Says:


    I’m not sure what “many horrors” the “total commitment” has brought us. If those “many horros” include the extended life span and many treatment options that are available today as a result of the use of the scientific method, then yes- I will stick to the “total commitment” to science in the nations top health officer. Imagine in the lab when testing drugs for cancer if the researchers validated results by saying, “even though the results of the trial show that the drug cures the disease, my theological views say that it shouldn’t. Therefore I will stop the trial and halt the drug.” If that’s your idea of “many horrors” than go ahead and support him.

    I’ll stick with my position, though, because that’s the equivalent of what is happening with this candidate. The top medical officer for our country must be able to discern between medical data and personal bias. He has not demonstrated an ability to do so.


  3. Jeff Says:

    John, I’ve posted this cartoon which may more elegantly capture my point.


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