Dr. Ben Carson, the conservative activist who is considering a run for president in 2016, said Wednesday that he could prove that being gay is a choice since people "go into prison straight and when they come out, they're gay."
Appearing on CNN’s “New Day,” he said that people “absolutely” had a choice over their sexuality. Anchor Chris Cuomo then asked him why he thought that.
“Because a lot of people 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.”
He also said that giving gay couples more rights “does not require changing the definition of marriage.”
Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon who has since turned his attention to politics, is one of many Republicans considering a presidential campaign. On Tuesday, he launched a presidential exploratory committee that will allow him to start fundraising more directly for a possible presidential bid.
His comments highlighted his conservative views of sexuality — which have gotten him in trouble before.
In 2013, he apologized for comparing marriage to pedophilia and bestiality when he said that marriage was a “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.”
Though he was scheduled to be the commencement speaker at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine that year, students demanded that Carson be dropped from the program because of his remarks. He ultimately chose to not speak.