UPDATED: See below
State Senator Jim Forrester (R-Gaston), lead proponent of the anti-same-sex-union amendment set to appear on NC ballots next spring, may have padded the resume he's been running on for many years.
But Michael Barry, the executive director of the American College of Preventive Medicine, says Forrester is not and has never been a Fellow of the College.
“A Fellow is kind of our highest designation of membership,” Barry explained. “We don’t know Dr. Forrester, so I can’t speak to his motives.”
Barry said it appears Forrester is board-certified with the American Board of Preventive Medicine, which may have caused some confusion. “They may think they’re also a fellow” of that organization, he added. But he couldn’t say why Forrester would’ve said he’s a fellow of ACPM, a separate body from the ABPM.
Barry said ACPM membership director Jennifer Edwards had called Forrester’s home Thursday to ask him to remove the claim from his website. Edwards spoke with the senator’s wife, Mary Frances. “She said they would do that,” Barry relayed.
Forrester did not immediately respond to a request for an explanation.
The story was first reported by Scott Rose, a contributor to the GLBT blog Pam’s House Blend. Forrester drew attention earlier this week after an appearance on gay advocate Michael Signorile’s show on satellite radio, in which the senator was unable to cite the studies backing his claim that gays’ and lesbians’ life expectancy is 20 years less than that of heterosexuals.
The American Medical Association, of which Forrester says he’s a member, is opposed to anti-same-sex-union measures like the one Forrester has sponsored every session since 2004.
As of Friday morning, the accreditation has not been deleted from either his campaign website or his profile on the Gaston County GOP site.
Forrester's resume also says he's an Associate Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, but his name does not appear on the associate fellows' list at that organization's website.
Update: From Aerospace Medical Association membership director Gloria Carter: "Dr. James Forrester was a member but his membership lapsed in 2005 for non-payment of the required annual dues. Dr. Forrester was an Associate Fellow only at that time."
Update 2: Forrester responds, saying any errors are "inadvertent."
Update 3: Forrester's campaign website also says he is a member of the American Medical Association. An AMA spokesperson says Forrester is not currently a member of the group.