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Major Medical Associations Denounce Holsinger’s Views On Homosexuality

By Amanda Terkel  

"Major Medical Associations Denounce Holsinger’s Views On Homosexuality"

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The Surgeon General of the United States is supposed to be “America’s chief health educator.” But President Bush’s nominee, James W. Holsinger, has repeatedly espoused medically-inaccurate homophobic positions that undermine his credibility to be the next Surgeon General.

The Bush administration has tried to brush aside Holsinger’s 1991 paper in which he concluded that homosexual relations were “intuitively” unnatural, blaming mainstream scientific opinion: “That was not his belief. It was not his opinion. It was a compilation of studies that were available at that time.”

But even a decade later, Holsinger remained out of the mainstream. In 2000, he helped found the Hope Springs Community Church, which takes the scientifically-rejected position that sexual orientation is a “lifestyle” choice. According to the church’s pastor, Rev. David Calhoun, the church helps people “walk out” of homosexuality through conversion therapy. By 2000, major medical associations had already denounced such “treatment”:

American Psychiatric Association: [T]he American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as “reparative” or “conversion” therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation. [1998]

American Psychological Association: In 1990, the American Psychological Association stated that scientific evidence does not show that conversion therapy works and that it can do more harm than good. [1997]

American Medical Association: [A]version therapy (a behavioral or medical intervention which pairs unwanted behavior, in this case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive consequences) is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians. [1994]

Rev. Troy Plummer, Executive Director of Reconciling Ministries Network of United Methodists, called the reparative therapy promoted by Holsinger “nothing short of torture of gay and lesbian people.”

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