Ben Carson

At his confirmation hearing on Thursday to become Secretary of HUD, in response to questions raised by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Ben Carson said: “Of course I would enforce all of the laws of the land.” He quickly added: “What I have said before is I don’t think anyone should get ‘extra rights.’ … Extra rights means you get to redefine everything for everyone else.”

In the past Carson has said that marriage equality provides gay citizens with extra rights. March 10, 2015 at CPAC:

Of course gay people should have the same rights as everyone else but they don’t get extra rights.They don’t get to redefine marriage.

That same month Carson claimed that sexual orientation was a choice. After considerable backlash he tried to apologize via Facebook but fell short of anything meaningful:

… up until this point there have been no definitive studies that people are born into a specific sexuality. We do know, however, that we are always born male and female. And I know that we are all made in God’s image, which means we are all deserving of respect and dignity.

Introducing ambiguity is the stratagem of garden variety bigots and it is false. There is a mountain of peer-reviewed research published to prestigious scholarly journals that sexual orientation is not a choice. There are varying opinions regarding how it is formed but there is no scientific controversy over the fact that sexual orientation is involuntary and innate.

I support human rights and Constitutional protections for gay people, and I have done so for many years. I support civil unions for gay couples, and I have done so for many years. I support the right of individual states to sanction gay marriage, and I support the right of individual states to deny gay marriage in their respective jurisdictions.

He does not support Constitutional protections if he thinks that they provide extra rights because sexual orientation is a choice. I think we all know what his statements on marriage mean. Fortunately that issue is settled.

I also think that marriage is a religious institution. Religious marriage is an oath before God and congregation. Religious marriage must only be governed by the church. Judges and government must not be allowed to restrict religious beliefs.

Carson tries to convey the notion that marriage equality infringes on religious liberty. The truth is that marriage is a civil construct. Churches were free to establish their criteria for religious marriage before Obergefell and remain free to do so today. No one ever challenged that right. It is irrelevant to marriage equality.

I am not a politician and I answered a question without really thinking about it thoroughly. No excuses.

You just did make an excuse you ignorant schmuck. More recently at the Republican National Convention in July when asked about transgender people:

For thousands of years, mankind has known what a man is and what a woman is, and now, all of a sudden we don’t know anymore. Now, is that the height of absurdity?

Whenever someone begins a statement with “for thousands of years” you know that the bullshit is about to start plopping. It is an obvious biblical reference and it should have no place in the medical opinions of a physician. In 1846 one could have stated that, for thousands of years people endured surgery without being doped up. On October 16 of that year, Dr. William T. G. Morton introduced, and successfully demonstrated, the use of ether as anesthesia for surgery.

Thank you very much, Donald, for putting a superstitious fool and bigot into your cabinet.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.