Dr. Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, on Wednesday refused to say whether he thought gays faced discrimination, instead asking his interviewer whether they could “move on to something more important.”
During the interview, CNN host Brianna Keilar repeatedly asked the former pediatric neurosurgeon whether “gay Americans are discriminated against.”
As Keilar said early in the interview, Carson has previously said gays haven’t experienced segregation the way black Americans have, and so gay rights are not the same as civil rights.
“I don’t really want to talk about the gay issue,” Carson said. “Except maybe you can get the answer for this question: ‘What position can a person take who has no animosity toward gay people, but believes in the traditional definition of marriage that would be acceptable?’”
Keilar told Carson that if he was running for President, it was “fair” to ask him about his opinion on gay rights.
“I think the Constitution protects every single American,” Carson said. “Everybody has equal rights, nobody has extra rights.”
Keilar continued to try to get an answer to her question about whether gays faced discrimination in the U.S.
“Can we move on to something more important?” Carson said. “Is there anything more important to talk about?”
Keilar prodded Carson, asking him whether he thought gays faced discrimination.
“Everybody needs to be protected from discrimination,” Carson said. “Everybody probably has somebody who discriminates against them because there are people with small minds who think that way.”
“Every group faces some type of discrimination,” Carson continued. “Christians face a lot of discrimination. I wish we would talk more about that.”
Keilar again asked whether Carson thought gays faced discrimination, to which he replied that he’d given her an answer.
“I think you gave me part of an answer, but not a complete one,” Keilar said.
Watch the video below, from CNN: