Doctor’s Anti-Gay Comments Lead to Commencement Cancellation
A John Hopkins University neurosurgeon has stepped down from giving a commencement speech at the school, after coming under fire for recent comments he made regarding gay marriage, Politico reports.
"Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interests of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year," Ben Carson said in an email sent Wednesday to Paul Rothman, the dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins medicine. "My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day."
Earlier this month Carson appeared on Fox News and compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia. Soon after he made his remarks, however, Rothman condemned Carson.
"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," Carson, who is the director of pediatric neurosurgery, said.
Last week, the doctor apologized for his statements.
"I think in terms of what was said on Sean Hannity's show, that was taken completely out of context and completely misunderstood in terms of what I was trying to say," Carson said. "As a Christian, I have a duty to love all people and that includes people who have other sexual orientations, and I certainly do, and never had any intention of offending anyone... If anyone was offended, I apologize to you."
In his email to Rothman, Carson added, "Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me. I want to make certain that remains so. Someday in the future, it is my hope and prayer that the emphasis on political correctness will decrease and we will start emphasizing rational discussion of differences so we can actually resolve problems and chart a course that is inclusive of everyone."