After repeatedly defending his anti-gay remarks and accusing liberals of being the "most racist people" for quoting him, Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson apologized today for comparing gay people to pedophiles.
According to New York Magazine, Dr. Carson apologized in a letter to the Johns Hopkins University community, but did not change his position against gay marriage.
“Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point," wrote Dr. Carson. "I hope all will look at a lifetime of service over some poorly chosen words.”
“I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused. But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology. Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe.”
Dr. Carson's sudden apology followed an e-mail today from the dean of Johns Hopkins University medical faculty, Paul Rothman.
“Controversial social issues are debated in the media on a regular basis, and yet it is rare that leaders of an academic medical center will join that type of public debate,” Rothman wrote. “However, we recognize that tension now exists in our community because hurtful, offensive language was used by our colleague, Dr. Ben Carson, when conveying a personal opinion. Dr. Carson’s comments are inconsistent with the culture of our institution.”
According to Slate.com, during a March 26, interview with Sean Hannity, Dr. Carson said:
Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. 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.
NAMBLA, the North America Man Boy Love Association, is an organization that endorses child-adult sex.
In response to Dr. Carson's statement, Johns Hopkins' students started a petition calling for him to be removed as the school’s commencement speaker.