Ben Carson Is Not Going to Talk About Gay Marriage Anymore

“I’m just not going to fall for that anymore,” Carson told Sean Hannity on Wednesday.

Ben Carson addresses the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26 in National Harbor, Maryland.
National Journal
Emma Roller
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Emma Roller
March 4, 2015, 1:19 p.m.

Nearly im­me­di­ately after an­noun­cing an ex­plor­at­ory com­mit­tee to run for pres­id­ent, Dr. Ben Car­son was mired in flack for com­ments on gay mar­riage he made to CNN.

Ap­pear­ing on CNN’s New Day Wed­nes­day, Car­son as­ser­ted that ho­mo­sexu­al­ity is a choice, a point he il­lus­trated by talk­ing about men who go to pris­on.

“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? Ask your­self that ques­tion,” Car­son said.

Car­son is hardly the first Re­pub­lic­an to ref­er­ence pris­on rape in his polit­ic­al rhet­or­ic; Mike Hucka­bee titled a chapter in his latest book, “Bend Over and Take it Like a Pris­on­er!”

Later on Wed­nes­day, Car­son ap­peared on Sean Han­nity’s ra­dio show, and Han­nity brought up the CNN ex­change.

“You were asked a ques­tion — and it’s gonna come up, these ques­tions are go­ing to come up all the time — this one happened to be about gay rights. And you said that you be­lieve that it is a choice: you know, nature, nur­ture, all that sort of thing,” Han­nity said. “Why don’t you ex­plain what you said?”

“First of all, it was a 25-minute in­ter­view. They chopped — and you see what part they em­phas­ized,” Car­son replied. “We talked about some really im­port­ant things. None of that was brought out. But I did learn something very im­port­ant: for cer­tain net­works, nev­er do a pre-taped in­ter­view. Al­ways do it live.”

Car­son ad­ded that he is not against rights for gay people, only their abil­ity to get mar­ried.

“Here’s the point: I be­lieve in tra­di­tion­al mar­riage between a man and a wo­man. I also be­lieve that our Con­sti­tu­tion pro­tects every­body re­gard­less of their be­liefs, and that in­cludes people who are gay,” Car­son told Han­nity. “I have no prob­lem with them do­ing whatever they want to do. I’m just not will­ing to change that po­s­i­tion on mar­riage for any­body, be­cause once you do that, you have to change it for every­body else who comes along. And why would we want to do that? We have something that’s worked just fine for thou­sands of years to cre­ate a nur­tur­ing en­vir­on­ment for rais­ing chil­dren, and I think that’s where we ought to leave it.”

Car­son ended his de­fense by say­ing he has a new strategy to avoid at­tract­ing the Gaffe Po­lice: he isn’t go­ing to talk about gay mar­riage any­more.

“I simply have de­cided I’m not go­ing to really talk about that is­sue any­more be­cause every time I’m gain­ing mo­mentum, the polit­ic­al press says, ‘Let’s talk about gay rights.’ And I’m just not go­ing to fall for that any­more,” Car­son said.

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