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Detroit Born Dr. Ben Carson, Exploring Presidential Bid, Apologizes For Saying Gay Is A Choice

By Christy Strawser

(CBS Detroit) The first man to toss his hat into the ring as a potential Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential race issued a lengthy mea culpa this week for comments he made in an CNN interview.

Detroit native Dr. Ben Carson made international headlines when he told an interviewer that being gay was a choice, because, as he said, men go into prison straight and come out gay. This followed his announcement a few days ago that he had formed an exploratory committee to seek the GOP nomination for president.

Obviously rethinking his answer to the gay question, Dr. Carson later posted a message on Facebook where he backtracked and blamed his newbie status in the political world for the gaffe. He said the comments don't reflect his "heart."

"I am not a politician and I answered a question without really thinking about it thoroughly," he wrote. "No excuses. I deeply regret my statement and I promise you, on this journey, I may err again, but unlike politicians when I make an error I will take full responsibility and never hide or parse words. As a human being my obligation is to learn from my mistakes and to treat all people with respect and dignity."

He added he respects the rights of states to decide whether to permit gay marriage.

Dr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, first gained notoriety for surgical skills when he separated twins conjoined at the head during a 22-hour surgery in 1987. Born in Detroit, his parents were Seventh Day Adventists.

He's a University of Michigan Medical School graduate, who now calls Baltimore, Md., home.

In a recent interview on CNN, I realized that my choice of language does not reflect fully my heart on gay issues. I...

Posted by Dr. Ben & Candy Carson on Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Angela Gabridge, director of development for LGTB support group Affirmations in Ferndale, Mich., said the apology doesn't erase the hurtful things he said.

"I think that he, in his own mind, he must have struck on what he thought was a solid example of the point he was trying to make (with the prison example)," she said, adding because of the "prejudiced, exclusionary and hateful" place he seems to be coming from, "Maybe it's all going to come out sounding crazy."


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