As a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council, physician James Holsinger voted with the majority to affirm Methodist teaching that bans practicing homosexuals from ordination. Holsinger also wrote a white paper for the denomination 16 years ago on the health hazards of gay sex and on the biological complementarity of the human sexes.
Should that bar him from serving (as President Bush desires) as U.S. surgeon general? It's not surprising that homosexual-activist groups like Human Rights Campaign think so. But most of the major Democratic presidential candidates agree. John Edwards was particularly harsh: "In a profession dedicated to healing and compassion, it cannot be hard to find a qualified candidate for surgeon general who sees all human beings as equals. Holsinger's anti-gay writings and beliefs suggest that he will undermine, not advance, the cause of equality and fairness in health care."
The Boston Globe called for Bush to withdraw his nomination, since "no one should go into the job with a record of discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation." A Washington Post editorial called Holsinger's white paper "bigotry masquerad[ing] as science" and mocked him for this sentence: "In fact, the logical complementarity of the human sexes has been so recognized in our culture that it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming various pipe fittings either the male fitting or the female fitting depending upon which one interlocks within the other."
"Is he a doctor or the Ace Hardware man?" asked the Post. Satirist Stephen Colbert went further: "For years, we have tolerated smoking just like we currently tolerate homosexuality. But the surgeon general alerted us to the dangers of smoking ...1
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