Jennifer Thurman & Art Toalston

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Activists attack SG nominee

WASHINGTON (BP)--James Holsinger, nominated by President Bush to become the 18th U.S. surgeon general, is being slammed by homosexual activist groups because of his outspoken disapproval of homosexual behavior. Holsinger, 68, is an accomplished cardiologist from the medical center at the University of Kentucky, a state with one of the country's largest healthcare systems. However, a scholarly article Holsinger wrote in 1991 -— titled "Pathophysiology of Male Sexuality" as part of the United Methodist debate over homosexuality —- is diverting media and political attention from his credentials to his faith. In the article, Holsinger wrote that anal sex was unnatural and heightened the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. He concluded that injuries and diseases may occur "when the complementarity of the sexes is breached." Data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that risky homosexual behavior is contributing to dangerous increases in rates of infection for syphilis. The CDC reported an 8 percent rise in 2004, a fourth consecutive year of increase. Approximately 64 percent of the new cases were among men who have sex with men, up from just 5 percent in 1999. Rates of syphilis infection among men rose 81 percent from 2000 to 2004. Between 1999 and 2004, rates of syphilis infection among women dropped 55 percent.