Dr. Ben Carson announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing as graduation speaker at Johns Hopkins University, ceding to demands from students concerned about his controversial recent comments about gay marriage.
“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,” Carson said in an e-mail to the dean of the Johns Hopkins medical school, Paul Rothman. “My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day. Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me.”
Carson in a TV interview two weeks ago mentioned bestiality and pedophilia while arguing against gay marriage.
“[Traditional marriage is] 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 said in the Fox News interview, referring to the North American Man/Boy Love Association, which seeks to overturn pedophilia laws.