Ashleigh Banfield | Curtis Knapp | News

CNN's Ashleigh Banfield Calls Homosexuality a 'Voluntary Lifestyle Choice', Tweets Clarification: VIDEO


At the end of a segment about Kansas Pastor Curtis Knapp, who made headlines this week over a sermon in which he said the government should kill gays, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield declared homosexuality "a lifestyle choice" that "is voluntary", Mediaite reports.

Said Banfield

Pedophilia is not by choice, last I checked. In his sermon, Pastor Knapp blamed the Bush administration for its tolerance of gay people. Says that he claims that set the stage, in fact, for the Obama administration to endorse same-sex marriage.

Like I said: they can’t make this stuff up. Unbelievable. Speechless, right? [...]

Again, we gotta outline here, when he says “they punish incest and pedophilia”… Please. Those things are often not by choice and are crimes. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice by people; it is voluntary.

Watch the segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Banfield later said, via Twitter,

"Need 2 clarify. Incest and pedophelia are CRIMES & victims have no choice. Being gay is not. Relatnshps r by choice. Way of life not crime...Being gay is not a choice. Being in consensual relationship is. I support LGBT people. I do not support pastor who says its a crime."

GLAAD tells Towleroad that Banfield will be addressing the remarks on her newscast tomorrow.

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  1. I guess it was her first time on TV.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | May 31, 2012 11:18:59 PM

  2. But once again...the damage is done.

    Cue 1500 reruns of her words on Fox's non-cognitive voter sperm pool.

    Don't bother clarifying. With friends like you who needs enemies.

    Posted by: Mic | May 31, 2012 11:20:02 PM

  3. WTH? A slip of the tongue is one thing...but I'm having a hard time believing that in this case. And to think I used to like and respect her (emphasis on USED to).

    Posted by: GeoffM | May 31, 2012 11:21:06 PM

  4. She made a mistake and said things incorrectly.

    I am not doubting her intent, but yes, the damage is done.

    It's a bad mistake. We've all made them, but most of us are not broadcast journalists ad libbing on camera.

    Posted by: johnny | May 31, 2012 11:28:10 PM

  5. Anyone who can't figure out what she meant needs to take their headn out if their ass.

    Posted by: Michae | May 31, 2012 11:31:46 PM

  6. I think she means consensual. Gay relationships are consensual and acts of pedophilia are not.

    Posted by: Karl | May 31, 2012 11:35:43 PM

  7. GLAAD and Hollywood Supports used to offer intensive fact-based media training, free of charge, for "journalists" who couldn't seem to figure this out, and couldn't walk ten feet to the bearest gay person to get a clue.

    Does GLAAD still do this, or do they just demand apologies all the time?

    Posted by: Jeff Kurtti | May 31, 2012 11:56:18 PM

  8. It is obvious she was defending gay people. I'm not going to throw stones at an obvious ally.

    Posted by: JP | Jun 1, 2012 12:00:12 AM

  9. when you date someone (regardless of their sex), that's the choice she's talking about. sounds like she tripped over her own words

    Posted by: luke | Jun 1, 2012 12:06:07 AM

  10. She is right about pedophilia. It isn't a choice, it's a mental disorder. Acting on it is a choice and a crime rightfully so.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Jun 1, 2012 12:28:40 AM

  11. I am sorry I laughed so hard when I read this. It is clear from the context and her clarification that she had the kindest intent. when I was a young man, I remember straight allies would say things like "Don't hate gay people, they are ill!" Except we never got a clarification afterwards. This guy was really being about as nice and understanding as straights ever got at that time. Straight people have come a long way, but it is unreasonable to expect them never to make mistakes; even huge foot-in-the-mouth-f*cked-herself-all-over-the-place mistakes. I no longer look on such things with a jaundiced eye. She is a sweet goofy straight ally who is in over her head.
    I can understand the outrage from a younger audience; they are used to much better from straight people. I'm just saying with the long view, it don't look so bad to me.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 1, 2012 12:33:03 AM

  12. Reading it is definitely weird but you can tell from the video that she thinks the pastor is batshit crazy and is defending gays. Her word choice is just...odd and confusing lol.

    Posted by: daws | Jun 1, 2012 12:38:47 AM

  13. She means whom you love is a basic freedom. Exactly like when we (in the U.S.) go to court and say our rights hang on the word "liberty" in the 14th Amendment (and the 5th). She means people have the right to choose how they live, not that being gay is a choice.

    Posted by: JJ | Jun 1, 2012 12:47:00 AM

  14. I support her. I can completely understand that it was a poorly-worded sentence. Let's not condemn actual allies over some fumbled words.

    It's because of fumbled words by Biden that Obama was forced prematurely out of the ally closet.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 1, 2012 12:47:34 AM

  15. Screw her - I guess her sexuality is a choice, then.

    Posted by: Tre | Jun 1, 2012 12:54:17 AM

  16. People condemning her are idiots. She fumbled when it was clear she meant "consensual" and her clarifications makes that clear. The context of her statement shows that.

    But the damage by this article here is done.

    I doubt readers like Tre will revisit this page or any clarification therein. For them, Banfield will be a homophobe from now on. Great work.

    Posted by: luminum | Jun 1, 2012 1:13:28 AM

  17. Here's what i find disgusting: People on these gay sites, who are so quick to jump and condemn this woman for what was just a slip of the tongue. She was obviously disgusted by this creep of a ass hole and was shaken by it, and she spoke out and made a mistake. Her heart is in the right place.

    But, to read the venom on this and other gay sites...well, it makes me ashamed of those who can't see an advocate of gay rights...but instead, only want to hear themselves spew their venom.
    Not good for the gay community, gay rights or anything else.

    Posted by: Bruce Dent | Jun 1, 2012 1:54:23 AM

  18. @Luminum
    I agree completely. Consider, however, that TRE had plenty of explanation in posts here. He didn't watch the video or evidently understand what he was reading. You can't reach people like that and it is likely he would have heard about it elsewhere, is it not? She is going to talk about it herself on air tomorrow, if I understand correctly. TRE was destined for his point of view because he doesn't pay attention. He addressed Mary earlier in terms that could only make sense if you assume he did not note there was a difference between "Mary" and "Mary Bennet." He evidently pays attention randomly and draws conclusions from just a few words here and there without being able to put them in any context. It makes me sad also.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 1, 2012 1:55:01 AM

  19. Not to mention, lifestyle choice isn't even a terribly hateful comment. I've known a few gay people who tried to choose to be straight or bi. Of course it failed, and they chose to be honest with themselves and live real lives--some at 18, some at 30.

    I don't find the comment especially troublesome given her apology (finally, a good one). So she messed up once. She probably ran this story 15 times, given how CNN works.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 1, 2012 1:57:19 AM

  20. I met Ashleigh at a social occasion here in NYC a few years ago. I was with my husband, and she had lots of questions for us, on the order of "How long you together?" "Where are you from?" "Did you get married yet?" I got no antigay vibes from her whatsoever, she was very cordial and supportive, and she seemed very smart. This seems like a slip of the tongue on CNN, and I accept her clarification. Poor choice of words, but you can't have everything.

    Posted by: Jim | Jun 1, 2012 1:58:39 AM

  21. If it wasn't for religious nuts insisting that their bible tells them to choose faith over what science shows to their very own eyes, we wouldn't still have 50% of americans believing that evolution is just a theory.... and we wouldn't have all-time high hate crimes by people who think gays are making a choice against god.

    I'll say again: religion has ruined this country just like it has ruined countries in the middle east.

    If the founding fathers could hear today's conservatives talking like the US is a theocracy "founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ" they would surely want to burn the constitution and start over -- making the separation of church and state, and freedom *from* religion, MUCH MUCH clearer.

    Posted by: sparks | Jun 1, 2012 2:14:54 AM

  22. @Sparks
    I don't argue with what you say. I wonder what it has to do with the story or any comments or anything but your rather strident political views?

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 1, 2012 2:19:58 AM

  23. I agree with Ms. Banfield. Those crimes and the victims are different from homosexuality.We all have a choice in life when it comes to sexuality. Victims of sexual crimes have no choice. THAT was all Ms. Banfield was saying.

    Posted by: Jueseppi B. | Jun 1, 2012 2:51:36 AM

  24. The only choice I had was to live a lie, or live the truth. I chose truth, hence, I am out. It is much easier this way. I do not have to lie, which God does not like. He made me this way, it is the way I am. I am a perfect creation as one of God's children. The rest of these "pastors of hate" can go bug off as far as I am concerned. I'd never visit their houses of hate anyway.

    She may have misspoke, and this is what can happen when you speak "off-the-cuff" on a live program. I do not fault her, just her choice of words...I think we all know she meant to say "consensual".

    Posted by: millerbeach | Jun 1, 2012 3:36:04 AM

  25. This confused me a bit at first but it's now obvious that she meant being gay is not a choice, but being in a gay relationship is. As opposed to something non-consensual and illegal like a paedophile taking advantage of a child. I still don't appreciate being talked about in the same breath as a child molester but she just fluffed her point pretty badly.

    Posted by: DanSwon | Jun 1, 2012 3:36:12 AM

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