After announcing the formation of an exploratory committee for his likely presidential campaign, Ben Carson appeared on CNN’s “New Day” this morning, where he outlined his view that homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice.
“A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay,” Carson said. “Did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
Carson’s absurd statement shouldn’t come as a surprise, as he has a long record of making similarly offensive and inaccurate claims about gay people. Here are just five of Carson’s most notorious anti-gay comments:
5) Gay Marriage Part Of Marxist Plot Against America
In a speech to the National Organization for Marriage last year, Carson warned that “neo-Marxists” who plan to “bring America down” and impose the “New World Order” have their sights set on “attacking” religion and families. Carson cited the book “The Naked Communist” — a favorite of anti-UN conspiracy theorists — as proof that movements such as the gay rights struggle are designed to “weaken the structure of America.”
Carson also claims that gay marriage supporters are among the “hateful,” “enemies” of the American people and that any federal judge who rules in favor of marriage equality should be removed from office.
4) Gay Rights ‘Compromise’
Carson said last year that he had found a “compromise” that could satisfy gay marriage opponents and supporters alike: gay people can’t get married. He explained that while gay people “can do what they want to do” and “form some other kind of relationship and call it something else,” they should not be allowed to get married since that would be like arguing that 2+2=5.
3) Affirming Churches Offend God
While the likely GOP presidential candidate frequently claims that he is a victim of anti-Christian prejudice, Carson has no problem attacking Christians who accept gay people and churches that perform same-sex weddings. Carson told Religious Right icon James Dobson last year that such Christians are “distorting” marriage” and are “really going pretty deep into the finger-in-your-eye to God.”
2) Gay Marriage Threatens Free Speech
Carson contends that liberals who criticize his views are trying to restrict “the freedom of speech [and] the freedom of expression.” He told CPAC last year that he will never give in to those “who have tried in many cases to shut me up” since it should be obvious to all that while “gay people should have the same rights as everyone else,” they “don’t get extra rights, they don’t get to redefine marriage.”
1) Grouping Gay People With Pedophiles
As Carson sees it, gay people are trying “to impose their lifestyle on everyone else,” and it is up to Carson to speak up against them. In a 2013 interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, he even went so far as to group gay people with people who want to have sex with children and animals.
“Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Carson said. “It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and 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. So he, it’s not something that is against gays, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.”