Kentucky Equality Federation today condemned the nomination of Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr. as U.S. Surgeon General.
Federation management had previously decided to remain largely quiet on the issue since the Office of U.S. Surgeon General is not a particularly powerful one, and has little direct impact on policy-making.
Earlier this week however Truth Wins Out, a group that debunks the religious right, reported that Dr. James Holsinger helped found a church in Lexington, Kentucky that operates an "ex-gay" ministry, a practice strongly opposed by Kentucky Equality Federation.
In 2006 the American Psychiatric Association, backed by numerous other mainstream medical organizations, issued a warning which stated: "There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed." The statement went on to say that positions supported by ex-gay organizations "are not supported by the science" and that they "create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish." The medical and scientific consensus is that reparative therapy is not effective and is potentially harmful.
"After reading some of the information and reports currently being circulated in the gay community it is clear that Dr. Holsinger has homophobic issues and isn't worthy to be a physician, much less U.S. Surgeon General," stated Jordan Palmer, Kentucky Equality Federation President. "If Holsinger is confirmed it will alienate the gay community from the U.S. Public Health Service."
Kentucky Equality Federation will be sending its certified condemnation of Dr. James Holsinger as U.S. Surgeon General to U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
"I think the committee needs to hear from Holsinger's home state," stated Palmer. "It is alarming that someone with a record such a Holsinger's, a record of allowing his personal religious opinion to influence his medical judgment, could be confirmed as our leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the U.S. government."
Kentucky Equality Federation will be asking its 6,841 registered members, as well as its 3,891 friends on the social networking website MySpace.com to sign a petition urging the Senate to reject Holsinger's nomination.