'Ex-Gay' Group Voices Support for Surgeon General Nominee

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - An organization representing people who have renounced homosexuality has condemned what it calls "bigoted remarks" made by homosexual activists about Kentucky physician and surgeon general nominee James Holsinger, Jr.

However, the leader of a group that "seeks to debunk the ex-gay myth" said on Wednesday that Holsinger is unworthy of the post because his belief that people can change their sexual orientation amounts to "psychological voodoo and scientific sorcery."

"Gay activists lobby to be included in tolerance policies, hate crimes and employment non-discrimination legislation, but they work hard to deny ex-gays the right to the same treatment," said Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), in a news release.

"This demonstrates how far the gay rights movement has moved from self-described victims to proactive perpetrators," she stated.

"Gay rights groups are attacking Dr. Hoslinger's nomination because his church is inclusive of ex-gays and he supports the right to self-determination regarding one's sexual attraction," PFOX indicated in its statement.

In addition, "ex-gays and Americans who support the right to self-determination of same-sex attraction are routinely ridiculed by the very people who claim to be victims themselves," the group added.

"Ex-gays should not have to be closeted for fear of other's negative reactions or disapproval," Griggs said. "They do not think something is wrong with them because they chose to fulfill their heterosexual potential.

"As a medical doctor, it seems Dr. Holsinger is aware that, contrary to distortions by gay activists, no professional medical or mental health associations deny the right of any individual to seek support in resolving unwanted same-sex attractions," Griggs said.

"Indeed, these associations adhere to a code of ethics which call for their members to support the client's right of self-determination," she stated.

However, Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, told Cybercast News Service that his organization is "trying to educate people about Holsinger's record."

Besen said the controversy "isn't about what he believes, it's about what he doesn't believe, which is in sound science."

"I think anybody who embraces an ex-gay ministry is embracing an archaic, anachronistic version of science that's been outdated for some time and is unworthy of being surgeon general," Besen asserted.

"You simply can't embrace an ex-gay ministry, which is psychological voodoo and scientific sorcery, and claim that you're a credible candidate for the surgeon general post," he added.

"Every respected medical and mental health organization in the country believes that it's counterproductive to try and change your orientation and can be dangerous," Besen stated. "This is rejected by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association."

As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the Kentucky cardiologist and health-care administrator picked by the Bush administration to serve as the new U.S. surgeon general is under attack from homosexual advocacy groups.

At the center of the organizations' complaints is a 1991 document in which Holsinger wrote that "the structure and function of the male and female human reproductive systems are fully complementary," a fact that "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."

In addition, the cardiologist and his wife, Barbara, are founders of the Hope Springs Community Church in Lexington, Ky., which offers a "recovery ministry" for homeless people, individuals addicted to drugs, alcohol and sex, and homosexuals who wish to change their sexual orientation.

Besen also stated that he finds it bizarre that conservatives consider "ex-gay a sexual orientation. I came out of the closet when I was 18 years old, and I don't identify myself as an ex-heterosexual."

He said that groups like PFOX use the term "ex-gay" as "a very political term to bash gay people and take away their rights." Also, "people waste tens of thousands of dollars based on this lie that they're sold that you can change your sexuality.

"In fact, the only people we've heard saying they've changed generally are working for either Focus on the Family or Exodus International," Besen said.

Nevertheless, Griggs of PFOX saw the Holsinger controversy from a different perspective.

"Americans need to face the growing issue of bigotry perpetrated upon ex-gays and their supporters," she said. "Gay activists cannot claim sympathy as victims when they attack ex-gays for political purposes of their own.

"Tolerance is not a one-way street," Griggs added. "All individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions deserve the right to self-determination and happiness based on their own needs and not the political inconvenience of others."

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