Dr. Ben Carson apologized late Wednesday for citing gay sex in prison to argue that homosexuality is a choice, although he asserted that there’s no conclusive proof that people who identify as gay were born that way.
The potential Republican 2016 contender, who just announced Tuesday that he’d formed a presidential exploratory committee, made waves when he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that being gay was “absolutely” a choice.
“Because a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight — and when they come out they’re gay,” Carson said on “New Day.” “So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
In a statement issued to CNN later in the day, Carson said 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,” he continued, as quoted by CNN. “I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended.”
The retired neurosurgeon then invoked his medical expertise and argued “up until this point there have been no definitive studies that people are born into a specific sexuality.”
But before he issued that apology, Carson took a shot at what he described as CNN’s selective editing in an interview on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s radio show that was flagged by Mediaite.
“It was a 25 minute interview they chopped. You see what part they emphasized,” Carson told Hannity. “We talked about some really important things. None of that was brought up.”
Carson also said he’d gotten wise to the media’s game and vowed not to take the bait on gay rights again.
“I simply have decided I’m not going to really talk about that issue anymore,” he told Hannity. “Because every time I’m gaining momentum the liberal press says, ‘Let’s talk about gay rights.’ I’m just not going to fall for that anymore.”