Ben Carson Says Gay Rights Aren't Like Civil Rights, Somehow Failing To Realize That They Definitely Are
In an interview with Fox News' Special Report on Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson spoke about gay rights and said he was “irritated” by statements that gay rights are the same as civil rights. Just three months after a pledge to avoid talking about gay rights for the remainder of his presidential campaign, Carson has proven again that he really shouldn’t talk about homosexuality. Or civil rights. Or being president.
It’s safe to say that Dr. Carson’s statements about gay rights have been among the most confounding of his presidential campaign. Last year, at a Republican conference in Maryland, Carson outlined his stance on gay marriage: that gay couples should have the same rights as everyone else, but that marriage should only be defined as a union between a man and a woman. In an interview with Sean Hannity, the former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon went on to compare homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia, arguing that, "no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition."
A few months later, Carson went on CNN's New Day and argued that sex between prison inmates proved that sexuality is a choice: “Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there?”
After the firestorm that followed those statements— including a petition by Hopkins medical school graduates to stop Carson from speaking at their graduation— Carson told Hannity on his radio show that he’d decided to stop talking about gay rights.
That didn’t last long.
In this week's interview with Fox News' Bret Baier, Carson took the opportunity to clear up the last insane thing he said about gay people:
Clearly, Carson hasn't been following the religious freedom laws popping up in places like Indiana.
Just a few months ago, Indiana lawmakers at a press conference admitted that LGBT discrimination is completely legal in that state. Even without the new religious freedoms bill to allow store owners to deny services to gay people, businesses in the state can legally put up signs saying “No Gays Allowed” since there's no statewide law against LGBT discrimination.
And in North Carolina, legislators voted Thursday to override their governor's veto of another religious freedoms bill that allows government officials to opt out of performing same-sex marriages.
Hmmm. Those sound like civil rights issues to me.
The most disturbing part of all this? Ben Carson is, according to a Washington Post poll analysis, in a statistical tie for the lead of the Republican race for president. In an article calling Carson’s presidential bid “the longest of long shots,” even The Washington Post seemed baffled that his poll ratings are so high.
It's hard to imagine that Dr. Carson can top his earlier statements, but I'm hoping the field of contenders narrows a bit more before he has a chance to try again.
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