Dr. Ben Carson Apologizes, Says He Could Have Made His Anti-Gay Point Less Offensively

Dr. Ben Carson has apologized to Johns Hopkins University students and staff in an email expressing regret over remarks he made to Sean Hannity comparing gays to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals, Politico reports:

Ben_carson“As you know, I have been in the national news quite a bit recently and my 36 year association with Johns Hopkins has unfortunately dragged our institution into the spotlight as well. I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused,” wrote Carson, who is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology. Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe.”

Carson said he has not changed his views on gay marriage, but that he recognizes he erred badly in expressing his opinion.

“There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into the political world and this is one I will not forget. Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point. I hope all will look at a lifetime of service over some poorly chosen words,” he said.

More than half of Johns Hopkins students have signed a petition calling for Carson to withdraw as commencement speaker.


  1. dattexas says

    Yes. You must choose your words carefully when espousing bigotry, hatred, and discrimination. You know, Doctor, so as not to offend.

  2. Alejandro says

    I’m starting to realize the conservatives are using bigoted black conservatives as their mouth piece. When said bigoted black conservative makes anti gay, anti women or anti muslim commentary and is criticized for it: conservatives QUICKLY call said criticism racist knowing that can get away with using one minority to attack another minority, and when said minority is questioned for their bigotry…conservatives all rally around their minority mouth piece and make a martyr out of him.

    It’s a strategy they have down to a science and needs to be called out.

  3. Two Dads says

    I feel like all these apology letters are trying to desensitize us toward homophobia and homophobes. At a certain point, after a million people are forgiven and not facing ANY consequences for their anti gay speech, because they sent an apology letter then the message being set is
    “No matter WHAT you say about the gay community…fabricate a polished enough apology and all is forgiven”

    I’m kinda over these apology letters and being told to accept them and move on.

  4. USC Trojans Fan says

    You used gay Americans and gay families as a ploy to get political points with conservatives and brand your political career. NO apology will ever, and I mean EVER, be good enough for hhow you *used* gay Americans to uplift your political career.

  5. Lion says

    This man is starting to creep.

    You used gay people to get yourself on the map. You knew exactly what you were saying and doing and your comments reminded me of things we would hear in the 90s. Ignorance at it’s worst.

  6. Gio says

    There’s something so creepy about this man and how calculating and forceful he is about trying to appear as a ‘nice guy’ but you can tell his entire nice guy act is a fabricated pseudo mannerism, ad comes off rather creepy when you observe his interviews. He just seems like every smile and gesture is pre though out in advance.

  7. DannyEastVillage says

    I”d love to hear from nurses who have worked with him in the OR at Hopkins. Anybody there?

  8. joel says

    Still against equal rights just sorry he didn’t crouch it in less offensive terms? How very giving of him. He might be a great doctor but this just shows that a gift in a certain area doesn’t necessarily make you a well rounded, fair minded person.

  9. AngelaChanning says

    Professional apology writers must be raking in the dough for creating such tripe. His first attempt involved a banana, apple, and a pear. Wow, what an apology turd.

  10. Francis #1 says

    So, where is the apology to the GAY COMMUNITY, Dr. Carson? And it’s funny how he’s, as said above, not sorry for what he said more than how he said it. Not once did he address actual gay people in that “apology”. Lame. Pathetic.

  11. Joel says

    All the talk of him being a great doctor.

    My grandma had a surgeon who was to perform open heart surgery on her. He did once, and he was magnificent at his work. Noted, loved, famous and accomplished. Yet one day, his bed side manners made me rethink what it means to be a great doctor. He took, what he thought was a private cell phone call, in a corner of a resting lobby area I was seated at. In that conversation, I overheard him say some terrible things about different patients, including my nana. It was at that moment I realized being a “great doctor” is more than just your skills, but your humanity as a person.

  12. Steve says

    This is a standard, official GOP talking point now. The problem isn’t their inhuman and immoral positions. It’s the way they present them.

  13. PAUL B. says

    Can a black person be more white than this? It’s amazing how assimilated into the white culture of hate he is. It should embarrass “real” black folks to have this white-washed piece of crap in their corner. Nothing like spending your life ashamed of who you are…makes you morph into whatever this man is. He’s a good example of what none of us want to become !!

  14. PAUL B. says

    Hopefully my comment above didn’t sound racist…it’s not meant to. He just reminds me of a gay person who’s abandoned all “gayness” to make everyone else comfortable. I think it’s a terrible loss when you give that much of yourself up to fit in.

  15. PAUL B. says

    Hopefully my comment above didn’t come off as racist. I just think it’s like a gay person sacrificing everything about being gay that makes them beautiful…just to make everyone else feel comfortable.

  16. Hagatha says

    I don’t get it. Kevin Jackson (Black conservative talk show host) is a pretty sharp fellow. He is right on many many things and (unlike many people here) actually has some facts to back up his positions. But then comes MARRIAGE, and his brain goes to goo. The same for Michael Medved. It’s like this is the secret handshake of people who can make money by running their mouths to conservatives.

  17. Major Tom says

    The doctor is oh so sorry that he went off script and revealed his true colors. Note that his apology was NOT directed at the GLBT community, but towards his employer and coworkers. In other words, he’s trying to save his own ass.

  18. redball says

    tyler, donned, roge,

    You WhiteHonkyBitches can all go f.ck yourselves. You’re probably the same person anyway.

  19. walter says

    sorry how can any bigoted comment be made less offense. i wonder hoe he would to be referred to as the lawn jockey for the gop.

  20. bravo says

    What’s with the racist comments? And why do you need to post them twice? Criticize him on the substance of his words and actions, not on his skin color.

    Anyway, there’s an interesting ad below the Towleroad banner for me today: Archdiocese of NY Catholic Schools.

  21. thepolarbeast says

    While one would think someone at Johns Hopkins would be a bit better informed, we can see that the “good” doctor’s red neck was in full view during this episode of “how to be a good Republican.”

  22. Fred says

    I have more respect for people that revel in their real feelings and opinions, than the privileged in academia that try to weasel their way out of what is ultimately the reasonable repercussions for expressing their bigotry and very public loathing and scapegoating of a particular minority.

    “Poorly chosen words” doesn’t cut it. Come out and say “I was wrong and it was absolutely wrong and reprehensible to compare gay people to pedophiles”.

    He’s not doing that, he’s just covering his butt.

    He’s unfit to make the commencement speech.

  23. Brian in Texas says

    @ Paul B

    There’s no one way to black, just as there isn’t one way to be gay. Dr. Carson is being himself.

    Why are people making this about race and not about the merits of his arguments?

  24. QJ201 says

    Put him in a time machine back to the 19th century south, where marriage was only legal between whites.

  25. Dave C. says

    Of course he is mouthing the same GOP confusion: ‘It was the wrong words, not the underlying values–or lack there of.’ Not that this excuses the racism of several posts here such as so-called ‘donned’ and ‘roge.’

  26. Wilberforce says

    It’ll be interesting to see the graduation. I hope the students make a fuss.

  27. Rick says

    “I’m starting to realize the conservatives are using bigoted black conservatives as their mouth piece. When said bigoted black conservative makes anti gay, anti women or anti muslim commentary and is criticized for it: conservatives QUICKLY call said criticism racist knowing that can get away with using one minority to attack another minority, and when said minority is questioned for their bigotry…conservatives all rally around their minority mouth piece and make a martyr out of him”

    Actually, Alejandro, the conservatives don’t call the criticism “racist” when defending one of these individuals.

    What you seem to be avoiding having to acknowledge is that the REAL reason blacks can get away with such homophobic behavior and whites cannot is because LIBERALS allow them to.

    Do you believe for one single second that if a white faculty member at Johns Hopkins had said and done exactly the same thing that he would not already have been relieved of his position by the liberal academics who run the place? Do you believe for one single second that the liberal student body that asked he be removed as commencement speaker would have asked that he be fired if he were white instead of black?

    You know the answer to those questions, so liberals are just sleeping in the bed they have made for themselves in situations like this, having basically created and reinforced the idea that being non-white means that you don’t have to be accountable for your actions in the way that whites do and that anyone who tries to hold you to similar standards of accountability is to be dismissed as a “racist”.

  28. Rick says

    For example, Liberals force me to don blackface drag whenever I go cruising bathroom gloryholes because they just can’t handle my white masculinity.

  29. says

    Merci Wilberforce!

    Once again “Rick” goes Blatantly Racist.

    Evidently had slavery stayed intact we’d never have to deal with homophobia. Right Rick?

  30. Rick says

    Stop trying to use logic when dealing with me. I’m a 54 year old man who is completely closeted so I don’t need you effeminate liberals using facts and logic and statements that make sense when dealing with my asinine comments.

    I’m past middle age and I hate liberals and blacks and women and effeminate gay men. Can’t you see I’m a pitiful waste of flesh who should be allowed to use the internet as the outlet for my rage? If I didn’t have this site to comment on every day I’d have nothing to live for. And if this site ever applies a process of registering to comment you’ll see me and a few others disappear in a heartbeat. So there.

  31. PAUL B. says

    Hi Brian in TX…I guess I’ve known gay people all my life (61 yrs.) who have have tried to look like something they’re not. It a horrible way to live…and doesn’t cut it. It’s not so much about race or sexual orientation as it is about selling your soul…gay, black or otherwise.

  32. Rick says

    “Hi Brian in TX…I guess I’ve known gay people all my life (61 yrs.) who have have tried to look like something they’re not. It a horrible way to live…and doesn’t cut it. It’s not so much about race or sexual orientation as it is about selling your soul…gay, black or otherwise.”

    How is he trying to look like something he is not All the empirical evidence we have points to blacks as a group (most of them Democrats) being every bit as homophobic as white Republicans.

    The problem this poses for adherents of the Far Left, such as yourself, of course, is that it messes up your neat little scheme of things where all minorities are empathetic towards each other and united against the Evil White Heterosexual Male Oppressor.

    Be that as it may, reality is still reality, whether it fits your ideological scheme or not.

  33. Veteran says


    The SAME posters acting outraged over the raci st comments on here are the same ones who MADE the comments. I’ve been posting here for years and have gotten a keen sense of observation on the trolls behaviors.

    What the resident troll does on here is post derogatory comments about say females, then under another handle will come here and act all outraged over what he is reading, coupled with sweeping generalizations against the gay community based on comments THEY wrote, pretending to be one of us.

    I actually believe they are an ethnic minority conservative trying to prove a point of how ‘intolerant’ liberals are.

  34. Jordan says

    this dang site is POLLUTED with trolls. No wonder I visit only once every month. Andy should really consider forcing everyone to create a login in order to post (login from twitter or facebook like all other gay blogs) this is lame, and Rick and his longgg rants take way too much space from the comments section.

  35. EE says

    Well… to be honest it was wonderfully written apology. Spoken like a true politician! Although that doesn’t excuse the fact he apologized for basically being vocal about his bigotry. “there are much less offensive ways to make that point.”

  36. Jordan says

    there’s something about this man that never strikes me as honest. I just think the FORCED GOP politicians like Rubio, and Ricky Perry and Ben Carson all fizzle because they are nothing but GOP manufactured politifrauds and eventually show their weakness.

  37. Taylor says

    That was not just a poor choice of words, and he knows it. It was a deliberate attack, a smearing, and an appeal to the diehard haters of the GOP.

  38. PAUL B. says

    Ben Carson is no more an African American man than Rick is a gay man. Where they went astray is anybody’s guess…but they’ve both lost their souls. Wish them a swift & full recovery and move on.

  39. Randy says

    Now he will complain about how intolerant the students are to demand he be removed as a speaker for their commencement. So now he gets to play the victim card as well.

    The Teaparty people love this guy because it gives them a chance to say, “see, we aren’t racists! We back a black guy who share our values!”

    And he is reveling in it. But what he doesn’t realize is that the white teapartyers are snickering behind his back because they know they are using him and would never actually put him in a place of real power.

  40. says

    “Note that his apology was NOT directed at the GLBT community, but towards his employer and coworkers. In other words, he’s trying to save his own ass.” Exactly. People need to realize that their anti-gay comments can whip up a firestorm of controversy and bad PR.

  41. Bob says

    “I had no need to attack and defame people in order to disagree”
    THAT would have been an apology.

    As for all the comments about race: some folks stupidly use “skin color” when the cultural differences are what underlies the behavior. Many of us, of all colors, have a right to be angry, no doubt, but we are not at our best when we use our history as a cover or excuse for poor behavior.

  42. Sean in Dallas says

    This prick spoke at my medical school commencement in the 90s. He’s been whoring himself out for a long time…pretty stupid of him to come out as such a bigot. I doubt he’ll be getting many more speaking gigs.

  43. mikro says

    Well we all know “less offensive” hate speech is the best kind. It also goes well with non-apologies.

  44. PAUL B. says

    “Evil White Heterosexual Male Oppressor”…you’re right about that Ricky. I couldn’t have said it any better myself, except to include the likes of Carson by tagging on “and Wannabee’s”.

  45. Oienstien says

    His comments were hurtful to the CHILDREN with gay parents. Do you realize how damaging these words can be to the child of a gay couple who hears prominent public figures put their parents with people who have sex with animals?

    People like Ben Carson have ONE goal….to destroy the lives of gay people, our families and our children. And don’t ever think they don’t know what they are saying. They do.

  46. cb says

    Where has tolerance and forgiveness gone. We all make mistakes in words and actions, but I find there is such quick to respond, without stopping to think that to err is human and to forgive divine. To ask someone to resign, be fired, etc without a second chance, (in some circumstances) I feel shows a quick to judge attitude. Have we not learned where that leads, how we would feel in those shoes?

  47. David Hearne says

    One of these days the universities are going to have to explain how it is that they issue paychecks to incompetent staff members. For years Princeton paid Ivan van Sertima to be a professor, and he has generated an entire generation of ignorant and deliberately misinformed people who have bought into his stupid, racist, and unscientific “work” which includes claiming that the ancient Americans were African negroes.

    Then we have Len Jeffries and Francis Cresswell who believe that melanin is “intelligent” and makes black people superior to white people,. They also feed into the Marcus Garvey idiocy on unified African culture and the origin of caucasians being a mutant form of albinism caused by leprosy as described in the Bible. Seriously.

    Then we have the dead turd who wrote Stolen Legacy and the Living Turd who wrote Black Athena.

    Coming around the bend we have a malevolent lying greaseball by the name of Armando Navarro who works at UC Riverside.

    Don’t forget the charming Angela Davis who has been on the public payroll for a very long time.

  48. Frank says

    @David Hearne. What black person hurt you so bad that you feel the need to come on every article just to tell some negative story or observation you’ve made about black people? I’d really like to know.

  49. woo says

    so the joke about cold-blooded , stuck-up surgeons might be true then? Pardon my stereotyping.

  50. Marion Nelson says

    This makes about as much difference to me as two snails mating-NONE. You are sorry you were called on your venom, which is as it should be. You are sorry the school you work for was embarrassed, as it should be. And you are worried that [the next time evaluations are to be done] it might jeopardize your advancement within the schools structure, as you should be. But I no more buy that you are sorry you were offensive than I would believe it of George Wallace. You have shown me your heart, it has been weighed and found lacking. Go somewhere and sit down; grown folks are trying to talk about something you have NO qualifications to offer an opinion on.

  51. Yeek says

    I don’t know what’s more tragic: the fact that exceptional talent has nothing to do with character, or that people never seem to learn such a simple truth about the world.

  52. billmiller says

    I only got as far as a Bachelor in Science, but I found my self upon graduation, a more open minded, more well rounded person. I find it sad, that a more ‘educated’ person could less so.

  53. Jack says

    Whatever you or me think of him, the man is entitled to his opinion. What he said on Sean Hannity was offensive, blatantly so. What he said in his apology was not.

    Frankly, we should step back and be glad when someone crosses the line like this, for ends up broadcasting our main message: Hateful speech will not be tolerated, where before no one thought twice about it. To give half of John Hopkins students an opportunity to sign a petition to that effect and make the national news is something we must be grateful for! That’s how the rest of America will be won.

  54. Hagatha says

    @ Frank – If you wish to correct anything I have said which you believe is incorrect, feel free to do so. Otherwise, there is no point to your posts than to complain about the truth.

  55. noteasilyoffended says

    Your words have done their damage, Dr. They were not accurate, but did the damage that true fact would have. You should be ashamed of yourself. I AM SO TIRED OF PEOPLE WHO STATE THEY ARE FOR EVERYONE’S RIGHTS, EXCEPT WHEN THOSE RIGHTS ARE SOMETHING THEY DISLIKE. And this is STILL not an apology.

  56. Mike says

    I am not surprised doctors, especially surgeons are very self centered. They really don’t care about the emotional status of their patient let alone a whole group of people. That is why we have nurses, because doctors are DICKS. (note some nurses are jaded assholes to and I am not letting them off the hook)

    If you choose to be in the medical profession you have to respect people. Surgeons stay in your operating room and out of the public light because you are really socially inept.

  57. Jack says

    @David: We do have freedom of thought, as well as speech. We so take that for granted. I doubt this guy will ever say anything like that in public again, thanks to our freedom to decry what he said.

  58. andrew says

    Once you say something as mean spirited as Carson did, most good people will always question his motivations and wonder what is his real agenda.

  59. millerbeach says

    Worry not, dearest doctor, due to the color of your skin, you would still have trouble hailing a cab in the rain on Michigan Avenue. Yes, it is 2013. Welcome to discrimination. Tell me how it feels to be making, what, 300K a year, and you still can’t get a cab on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and you are soaked to your skin in a cold rain. All because of your skin color. Now that you know that sting, keep it in mind when you open your mouth. Too bad it is too late for you, as your career, all three-plus decades of it, are now toast. Cheers! Oh, and you still won’t be able to get a cab. I guess some things really do never change…

  60. says

    ‘But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our [Johns Hopkins] community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology [to Johns Hopkins]. Hurting others [at Johns Hopkins] is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe.’

    Very clear.

    He needs firing. After 36 years, he’s let himself get too far out of touch with non-sheltered real life, and now his resulting incompetence has been revealed.

    He has no idea of the progress we’ve made. His level of anti-gay bigotry and his public gay-bashing were perfectly acceptable at some point in the past.

    Of course almost everyone in the world knows that that time is gone. He’s not in the world, socially. He’s in a world that no longer exists, and because he still can’t see his ‘mistakes’ nor the pain he’s really caused, he needs to just stop and do something else.

    He has ‘blind spots’ and they prevent a person from leading others appropriately. This blind spot highlighted his striking lack of an appropriate empathic response.

    His POV causes reactions he misses, that make most ‘normal’ people uncomfortable, embarrassed and sometimes angry. He either doesn’t know or doesn’t care yet that we don’t tolerate that any more.

    Negligently accepting a blind spot you’re aware of is not something that’s usually limited to one blind spot against one group of people. A high-level professional anything can’t afford even one blind spot.

    No, Doc, you can’t operate anymore. Your shaking hands have been noticed, and that’s forever. Put the scalpel down and back away from the brain.

  61. Jack M says

    Hopkins is not going to fire this guy, he is retiring in June. However, the email from the Dean has distanced the institution from Carson.

    BTW, did you see that, despite the apology, Carson had to put in the marriage issue? That was a little FU to everyone. Classy guy.

  62. says

    Sorry, this is the best non-apology yet! He deserves an award for this one. He just said, I am sorry that the “scandal” has harmed and offended Republicans, I didn’t mean to offend YOU guys.