Benjamin Carson, the famed Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, apologized Friday for his “choice of words” and use of examples in discussing gay marriage on Fox News earlier in the week.
During Sean Hannity’s show Tuesday, when asked about the matter before the Supreme Court, Carson said: “Marriage is between a man and a woman. 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.”
The comparison of gays to members of the North American Man/Boy Love Association and those who engage in bestiality set off a backlash of criticism in the media, online and on campus. There is now a petition circulating at Johns Hopkins Medicine to have Carson removed as commencement speaker in May at the School of Medicine.
“I think people have completely taken the wrong meaning out of what I was saying,” the 61-year-old surgeon said in a telephone interview Friday. “First of all, I certainly believe gay people should have all the rights that anybody else has.”
He added, “Now, perhaps, the examples were not the best choice of words, and I certainly apologize if I offended anyone.”
Carson said: “But the point that I was making was that no group of individuals, whoever they are, whatever their belief systems, gets to change traditional definitions.”