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Antigay N.C. Pol Exaggerates Credentials

Antigay N.C. Pol Exaggerates Credentials


North Carolina state senator James Forrester, the chief backer of a proposed anti-marriage equality constitutional amendment and a physician who makes claims about the health hazards of homosexuality, has apparently been misrepresenting some of his medical credentials.

Pam's House Blendreported this week that Forrester is not a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, as he claims in his official biography, posted on the Gaston County Republican Party website. Scott Rose, a contributor to Pam's House Blend, contacted the medical group, which confirmed that Forrester has not received that designation, which is the highest level of membership, nor is he even a member.

North Carolina LGBT newspaper QNotes then spoke to Michael Barry, executive director of the medical association, who said, "To be a fellow of the society, you have to be a member for a certain amount of time and have contributed to the organization. Some just think they are fellows just by virtue of being certified." Forrester is board-certified in preventive medicine, Barry said. Barry's group has asked Forrester to remove the erroneous information from his biography.

Forrester also may not be, as he claims, an associate fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association -- his name does not appear on a list the association provided to a North Carolina TV station -- or a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, QNotesreports. The paper attempted to reach Forrester for comment today, but was unsuccessful.

At a town hall meeting this month to discuss the proposed constitutional amendment, Forrester made the unsubstantiated assertion that gay people are "going to die at least 20 years earlier" than straights and said they should "change their lifestyle and back to the normal lifestyle which we can accept." This week he abruptly ended an interview on Michelangelo Signorile's radio show after Signorile challenged him about these statements and asked him why he didn't propose banning divorce.

The constitutional amendment, banning legal recognition of same-sex marriage in North Carolina (something already banned by statute), was approved by the state legislature this month and will go before voters in May.

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