Possible Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson rendered an apology for his gay comments on CNN. In the interview Carson stated being gay is undoubtedly a choice. At the time the retired neurosurgeon said, “Prison proves being gay is a choice” but has since taken to his Facebook page to offer his regrets by stating his comments did not fully represent his heart on the issue.
During the interview with Chris Cuomo, Carson was asked directly if homosexuals have the choice to be gay and whether they have control over their behavior to which Carson exclaimed, “Absolutely!” The 63-year-old went on to explain his belief by stating that a lot of people go into prison straight and come out gay. The argument that came back at Carson is although his statement has truth it is not an absolute for all same-sex lovers.
Within minutes after the comments rolled from Carson’s tongue critics began speaking out. Many believe the backlash is what prompted Carson’s quick apology. Those with opposing views have directed the Republican to the view of medical groups and the American Psychological Association who has ruled that one’s sexuality is not a matter of choice.
Carson has issued an apology but wanted to make it clear that it has not been proven that people are born gay. He explained his training includes multiple fields of medicine and he has been privileged to work at the finest institution of medical knowledge worldwide and up to this point there are no definite studies which support this theory. He added:
We do know, however, that we are always born male and female. I know that we are all made in God’s image, which means we are all deserving of respect and dignity.
The former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital said he is not a politician and did not think about the question thoroughly before answering. Carson offered his deep regrets and promised that although he may err again, unlike politicians, he will always take full responsibility for any mistakes he makes. Carson added that he is obligated, as a human being, to learn from mistakes as well as treat all people with dignity and respect.
On Wednesday night when speaking with Sean Hannity of Fox News Carson said he will no longer speak on gay issues. He stated:
I simply have decided I am not going to really talk about that issue anymore because every time I gain momentum, the liberal press wants to talk about gay rights. ‘I am just not going to fall for that anymore.’
Carson wanted to clarify that he supports human rights and Constitutional protections for homosexual people and has for many years. He also supports the right individual states have to sanction gay marriage and deny it in their respective jurisdictions. The conservative said marriage is a religious institution and as such is an oath before God and witnesses. Judges and government must not be allowed to restrict one’s religious beliefs; religious marriage must only be governed by the church.
Sex columnist Dan Savage called Carson’s comments low and disgusting before reminding CNN’s Brian Stelter that Carson and Rick Santorum have compared homosexuals to child rapists and those who have sex with animals. Savage stated Carson says the most disgusting and vile things about gay people and proclaimed the issue of LGBT rights can no longer be avoided.
Ben Carson originally stated being gay was absolutely an individual’s choice but has now apologized for rendering his comments. Carson said he regrets that his words of expression were hurtful and divisive. He apologized unreservedly to any and everyone he offended.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore – Creativecommons Flickr License