Holsinger Holds Studiously Ambiguous Position on Homosexuality -  Conservatives Disappointed

By Elizabeth O’Brien

  WASHINGTON, DC, July 13, 2007 ( - During the Senate hearing yesterday, Surgeon General nominee Dr. James Holsinger Jr. remained studiously ambiguous on the issue of homosexuality. Meanwhile, the mainstream media has been clamoring that he has positively retracted his former views to now favor homosexuality.

  Matt Barber, Policy Director for Cultural Issues of Concerned Women of America (CWA), reported that during the meeting, Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy began by slamming Dr. Holsinger for his Christian faith and the paper he wrote in 1991. Barber stated that Holsinger "seemed to try to distance himself from his 1991 paper by saying, ‘First of all, the paper does not represent where I am today,’ he said. ‘It does not represent who I am today.’"

  On the question of homosexuality, Barber comments, "Holsinger was definitely slipping and sliding all over the place. He came across as a regular Washington insider. In his 1991 paper he stood firm in his position. In the hearing he completely abandoned that firm stance by giving a bunch of non-answers and playing dodge ball…I was very much hoping he would display courage and stand firm on his prior position."

  Nevertheless, Media reports have been milking Holsinger’s "non-statements" as indications of his retracted position. Brit Hume, reporting on the Fox News Channel, for example, stated, "Holsinger also told senators in a confirmation hearing that he no longer holds the views about homosexuality that he expressed in a controversial paper in 1991, in which he called it unnatural and unhealthy."

  Commenting on recent media coverage of the event, Barber continued, "And yes, his non-answers could be construed as ‘disavowing’ his previous stance. But I think the MSM, including Fox, have grossly exaggerated his statement.  They’re reporting what they wanted to hear, not what he actually said."

  Barber continued, "I was very disappointed that he so clearly waffled and chose the path of least resistance.  I’m left unimpressed." 

"My point is that he never said that homosexuality was ‘natural’ and ‘healthy,’ which is the way that his non-answers are being portrayed in the media.  They’re saying that he has affirmatively reversed course. He never said his findings were wrong or inaccurate. He never said that today’s medical science disproves his previous stance. He could have said all of those things if he believed them and the left would have loved him for it. His confirmation would have sailed through the Democrat controlled Senate."

  Barber also told, "We’re left not knowing whether Dr. Holsinger will put scientific substance over political correctness in dealing with the issue of homosexual behavior."  At present, CWA is not taking an official position in either support or opposition to Holsinger as nominee.

  Tom McClusky, Vice President of Government Affairs, for the Family Research Council (FRC) also stated that the FRC is not supporting Holsinger as Nominee. When it comes to a controversial issue, stated McClusky, "From his public statements yesterday, he doesn’t seem to have a problem quickly backing away from it." He stated that the FRC is "not supportive of him as nominee because we don’t know what he stands for."

  McClusky also noted that when Holsinger was Chancellor of the University of Kentucky, he testified in the Kentucky Legislature against Dr. David Prentice, Senior Fellow for Life, advocating against a certain bill that advocated certain restrictions on cloning. A June 10 article in the Kentucky Courier-Journal reports, "Testifying in 2005, he urged state lawmakers to amend or kill an anti-cloning bill, which he said could restrict future research." FRC has never found a public retraction of this statement.

  Focus on the Family told that they have no official statement or position regarding nominee Holsinger.

  See previous coverage:

  Bush’s Choice for Surgeon Gen. Said Homosexual Practices "Unnatural and Unhealthy"

  Surgeon General Nominee Denies that He is Anti-Homosexual before Hearing

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