Task Force applauds Senate panel for tough questioning of controversial surgeon general nominee

July 13, 2007

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Urges committee to reject nomination of Dr. James Holsinger

WASHINGTON, July 13 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the questioning put forth by members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions at yesterday’s confirmation hearing on controversial surgeon general nominee, Dr. James Holsinger.

Holsinger’s past writings, most notably his 1991 paper titled “The Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality,” seriously calls into question his ability to address the health needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

At the hearing, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) said Holsinger “cherry-picked” scientific reports and even misrepresented some of them. “This is something that is enormously relevant,” said Kennedy, chair of the committee. “It raises serious questions about ... whether you have the kind of basic and fundamental integrity to speak truth to power.”

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“We applaud Senator Kennedy for his leadership in conducting a thorough hearing on the nomination of Dr. James Holsinger to become the next surgeon general. While other politicians may avoid addressing controversial issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health, the chairman’s line of questioning highlighted the surgeon general’s tremendous impact on health issues facing our community. We commend Senator Kennedy and the other members of the committee for asking the critical questions.

“Dr. Holsinger’s testimony did not allay our existing concerns about his commitment to serving the health needs of all Americans. We continue to be deeply troubled by his history of animosity toward the LGBT community and his tendency to place ideology over science. We urge the committee to reject this nomination.”


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.