“Washington, D.C. – Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson apologized for commenting Wednesday that prisoners’ changes after they leave jail proves being gay is a choice, but said that the science is still murky on the issue. And then, in a radio appearance later Wednesday, he criticized CNN for airing the comments he’d made in an interview and said he won’t be addressing gay rights issues for the duration of his presidential campaign.
“Carson had asserted Wednesday morning on CNN’s “New Day” that homosexuality is a choice because people “go into prison straight – and when they come out, they’re gay.” He backtracked in a statement afterward, saying he “realized that my choice of language does not reflect fully my heart on gay issues.”
““I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended,” he added. Carson referenced his medical education and his work at Johns Hopkins Hospital and asserted that the verdict is still out on whether people are born either gay or straight.
““Some of our brightest minds have looked at this debate, and up until this point there have been no definitive studies that people are born into a specific sexuality,” he said. Still, he believes marriage should be restricted to one man and one woman. “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 told the press.
“During the interview Wednesday morning, when Carson was asked by Chris Cuomo whether being gay is a choice, he replied: “Absolutely. 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? Ask yourself that question,” Carson said.
He concluded by saying: “Furthermore, I’ve also seen a number of cases where people with homosexual tendencies have went into prison and when they came out, it was as if they were newly-born heterosexuals. Now, one could ask the question of whether prison as an institution of law really rehabilitates inmates to that extent, but that’s another story. The point here is – people have successfully been able to change their sexuality in prison, and that’s something we need to take full advantage of. I don’t know about my younger colleagues, but if I were still practicing medicine, I would think about recommending prison as a form of highly effective therapy for those who are unable to make peace with what they’re feeling on the inside, for whatever reason.”