In the midst of a tidal-wave of criticism, the GOP's latest minority darling, Dr. Ben Carson, has apologized for homophobic remarks made during an interview with FOX's Sean Hannity, reports TheHill.com.
During the controversial interview, the famed John Hopkins' neurosurgeon compared consenting homosexual relationships with pedophilia and bestiality:
"My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It's a well-established, 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..."
NAMBLA is the acronym for the North American Man/Boy Love Association, which advocates for societal acceptance of "intergenerational" sexual relationships between men and boys.
In a follow-up interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Carson claims that he was not equating the three things by using a perplexing fruit analogy:
"What I was basically saying and if anyone was offended, I apologize to you. What I was basically saying is there is no group. I wasn't equating those things, I don't think they're equal. If you ask me for an apple and I give you an orange you would say, that's not an orange. And I say, that's a banana. And that's not an apple either. Or a peach, that's not an apple, either. It doesn't mean that I'm equating the banana and the orange and the peach. In the same way I'm not equating those things."
In a widely circulated petition, students at John Hopkins requested that Carson be uninvited as the speaker for the university's graduation ceremony because of his highly problematic statement, but Dennis O'Shea, executive director of the university's media relations, said they are standing by their man:
"Dr. Carson is a distinguished Johns Hopkins surgeon and scientist chosen to speak at the School of Medicine diploma ceremony because of his extraordinary accomplishments as a neurosurgeon and his many contributions as an advocate for education and children," O'Shea said in an email to The Huffington Post.
"He was not asked to speak because of his personal political, religious or social views. His personal views are just that, his own. When he speaks about them, he is not speaking on behalf of Johns Hopkins."
Carson, however, said that it's up to the students:
"I would say this is their day and the last thing I would want to do is rain on their parade."
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