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Dr. Ben Carson Steps Down as Johns Hopkins Commencement Speaker Over Comments on Same-Sex Marriage

During the week of the Supreme Court marriage hearings, conservative hero Dr. Ben Carson made some ugly remarks to Sean Hannity comparing gays to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals. Since that time, there have been calls for him to step down as this year's Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine commencement speaker.

Ben_carsonHe stepped down last night, the Baltimore Sun reports:

Carson sent Rothman a letter saying that he didn't want to "distract from the celebratory nature of the day."

"Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interest of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year," he wrote in the letter to Rothman, which the dean shared with the Hopkins community.

Neither Rothman nor Carson was available for comment Wednesday night.

"This was purely Dr. Carson's decision," said Hopkins spokeswoman Kim Hoppe in an email, adding that the university did not ask him to give up the speaking engagement.

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Comments

  1. I wonder if this is one of those times where someone says something bigoted, backs down and later says "Look how mean those gays are! They are trying to have us and our unfounded views silenced."

    Posted by: J. | Apr 11, 2013 7:51:47 AM


  2. And again he tries to pretend he is only "for traditional marriage". Not that he thinks gays are pedophiles.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 11, 2013 8:05:21 AM


  3. He must have realized that his views are weird and old fashioned. The time for equal rights for all people in LOVE is now!! I say ADIOS to him!!

    Posted by: Charles Strachan Gay Marriage in NV by 2011 | Apr 11, 2013 8:07:50 AM


  4. It's especially sad the university made such a point of saying "It was his decision...we didn't ask him to step down."

    All I can say in response to that is, "Why the hell NOT?" You should have asked him to step down.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Apr 11, 2013 8:10:15 AM


  5. Fantastic legacy you've left Dr. Carson...I hope your children are so proud of you.

    Posted by: Donald | Apr 11, 2013 8:38:14 AM


  6. > I wonder if this is one of those times where someone says something bigoted, backs down and later says "Look how mean those gays are! They are trying to have us and our unfounded views silenced."

    No, the RWNJ base will do that for him happily.

    After all, they all have the hots for him, as in "finally a black conservative, this will make all those racist blacks who voted for Obama on color vote for the GOP next time".

    Posted by: The Magic M | Apr 11, 2013 8:40:24 AM


  7. Carson also said in his message:

    "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."

    Apparently he can dish it out but can't take it. For him to blame political correctness and to think that rational discussion will vindicate him is amazing.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 11, 2013 8:43:54 AM


  8. He's in the doghouse now!!

    Posted by: kodiak | Apr 11, 2013 8:44:21 AM


  9. Just being a willing guest of Hannity should disqualify him from being allowed to speak to young people.

    Posted by: Demian | Apr 11, 2013 9:18:26 AM


  10. So free speech is all right as long as he agrees with you? What ever happened to being able to discuss with out avarice?
    I welcome his opinion....why?
    Because everything in my life disproves what he says, not by words, by deeds.

    Ask your self the question, What would you response be if it were in reverse?

    Posted by: HA! | Apr 11, 2013 9:27:35 AM


  11. "we will start emphasizing rational discussion of differences"

    As if comparing gay people to rapists of children and animals is rational.

    This guy just gets scummier and scummier.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Apr 11, 2013 9:28:22 AM


  12. Screw John Hopkins for defending this bigot.

    Expect Dr. Carson to now be a martyr for conservatives and by "free speech" avengers.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 11, 2013 11:07:48 AM


  13. Johns Hopkins did NOT defend Dr. Carson. On the contrary, they said his comments were not in keeping with their policy of diversity and inclusion. They basically distanced themselves from him. He is retiring in June; they will just wait it out and breathe a sigh of relief when he goes.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 11, 2013 11:36:17 AM


  14. Ha, Ha! Let this bigot be another martyr for the wing-nuts. When the bigots start creating martyrs to their cause you know your winning.

    And it feels good baby, it feels good.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Apr 11, 2013 11:47:39 AM


  15. "So free speech is all right as long as he agrees with you?"


    @Ha: Nobody has tried to shut down his right to free speech. That doesn't mean that he has the right to have everyone else refrain from freely speaking about how outrageous his ststements were. And "free speech" also doesn't mean that others are required to insist that he be provided a special podium for their own occasion.


    "Ask your self the question, What would you response be if it were in reverse?"

    I'm not sure what you mean by "the reverse."

    Do you mean if someone had said the exact same type of outrageous thing about a minority group to which he belongs (such as that black people shouldn't be allowed to be doctors for the same reason that rapists of kids and animals shouldn't be allowed to?).

    If so, my response would be exactly the same: I would wonder how someone so supposedly educated can be so twisted and offensive, and I would think he was a horrible choice as a speaker at a ceremony that should be inclusive and inspiring.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 11, 2013 11:52:09 AM


  16. He's trying to mount a career in the Republican party---which desperately needs to reach out to young people. Videotape of half of Johns Hopkins graduates turning their backs on him or walking out during commencement would have haunted him for a loooooooong time.

    That's why he bailed.

    Posted by: Arrant | Apr 11, 2013 1:33:52 PM


  17. Johns Hopkins defended Dr. Carson's "free speech" rights. The majority of graduate students wanted him gone. JH refused. So yes, they defended him, although they may have distanced themselves from his comments, they still defended him. And as is clear they would have continued defending him but Dr. Carson resigned as he should.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 11, 2013 1:40:30 PM


  18. JHU is the ultimate "pussy" is this for their statement of support for Carson. The majority of students had signed a petition to have Carson removed as the commencement speaker. Congrats to the forward wh

    Posted by: Rich | Apr 11, 2013 11:55:58 PM



  19. He must have realized that his views are weird and old fashioned. The time for equal rights for all people in LOVE is now!! I say ADIOS to him!!

    Posted by: Charles Strachan Gay Marriage in NV by 2011 | Apr 11, 2013 8:07:50 AM

    So I guess Charles in your thinking "all people in LOVE" means any age? I guess Dr. Carson's pedophile comment was correct.

    Posted by: John | Apr 12, 2013 3:12:41 PM


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