Tea party Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday that being gay is a choice, an example being straight people who emerge from prison as homosexuals.
During a discussion about same-sex marriage rights, Cuomo asked Carson if, as with slavery, gay marriage needed to be corrected in the Constitution as a form of equal protection. Carson replied that there's no comparison between the two.
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"You can't just say because it happened that way this time, this is the same situation, it's not the same situation," he said, "because people have no control over their race, for instance."
Cuomo then asked if Carson believed people had control over their sexuality and if being gay was a choice. "Absolutely," said Carson.
"A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and when they come out, they're gay," Carson said. "So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question."
The issue of gay marriage should be left to the states, according to Carson, and providing legal rights to same-sex couples can be done without changing the legal definition of marriage.
"Why do gay people want to get married? Why do they say they want to get married? Because they want to have various rights — property rights, visitation rights," he said.
"Why can't any two human beings, I don't care what their sexual orientation is, why can't they have the legal right to do those things? That does not require changing the definition of marriage."
In 2013, Carson apologized for comments
he made comparing homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia when he said that marriage was "a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association), be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn't matter what they are, they don't get to change the definition."
Days after making the statement to Fox News host Sean Hannity, Carson appeared on CNN where he said he apologized if he offended anyone with his "insensitive" remarks.
"I love gay people. I love straight people," Carson said.
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