After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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Surgeon General nominee to face tough questioning at hearing

By |2007-07-12T09:00:00-04:00July 12th, 2007|News|

by Bob Roehr

WASHINGTON, DC – Surgeon General nominee James Holsinger goes before the Senate health committee in a confirmation hearing scheduled for Thursday, July 12. Gay and AIDS advocates are stepping up their opposition to the nomination, and there is some grumbling from the right as well.
The HIV Medical Association (HIVMA) has come out in opposition to the nomination saying, “A man who believes homosexuality is a condition to be “cured” is not fit to be the nation’s First Physician.”
“Dr. Holsinger’s perspective on homosexuality places him well outside the medical mainstream and raises questions about his ability to provide national leadership on behalf of all of our nation’s people and to address on of our country’s most critical health problems,” said Daniel Kuritzkes in a letter to committee chairman Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Kuritzkes is chairman of the board of HIVMA, a Boston physician, and a leading HIV researcher.
AIDS Action is circulating a sign on letter opposing Holsinger that will be sent to all members of the committee. As of Monday morning, more than 40 national and local organizations had added their names
“As you deliberate Dr. Holsinger’s nomination, please remember that the mission of the Surgeon General is to serve as America’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.”
The letter noted Holsinger’s medical career and that “he also has a long documented history of prejudice towards lesbians and gay men.” It made a link between that type of stigma “hindering efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.”
It concluded, “A Surgeon General with a record of prejudice towards and bias against lesbians and gay men would likely be a divisive, polarizing figure and detrimental to the health and well being of all Americans.”
The far right has largely limited itself to berating those dastardly homosexual activists who would attack a Christian such as Holsinger for his beliefs that gays are sinful. They have not voiced full support for the man and the nomination.
One reason is concerns over stem cell research. Holsinger supported progressive legislation that died in the Kentucky legislature.
Another may be a matter now before the Kentucky legislature that would prohibit state universities from offering medical benefits to unmarried partners. The educational institutions have seen the benefits as a question of basic fairness and being competitive in recruiting employees; social conservatives want to “defend” marriage by punishing gays.
Some Senators may press Holsinger as to where he stands on the measure at the confirmation hearing. Regardless of how he answers, he is likely to displease someone.
The one person who has wholeheartedly embraced Holsinger is the antigay wacko Rev. Fred Phelps who says, “By all accounts, there is no man more qualified to be Surgeon General than Dr. Holsinger.”
The Washington Post and Boston Globe are among the newspapers that have questioned the nomination on their editorial pages.
The Bush administration has been offering pro forma support for Holsinger but does not appear to be mounting an all out campaign for the nominee.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.