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article imageOp-Ed: View on homosexuality sinks second GOP presidential candidate

By Calvin Wolf     Mar 4, 2015 in Politics
Dr. Ben Carson, the Republican dark horse candidate for president, has been a popular draw for conservatives. Unfortunately, he has just sunk his chances by asserting that homosexuality is a conscious choice...because prisoners "choose" to be gay.
For such a supposedly smart man, Dr. Ben Carson has just unloaded a metric ton of dumb. Carson, the [probable] Republican dark horse candidate for president, coming from a non-political background, has been a big draw for conservatives as of late. A neurosurgeon who overcame tremendous sociocultural obstacles, Carson is widely renowned. The popular book Gifted Hands details Carson's amazing rise from a hardscrabble youth to the upper echelons of academic and medical society. I read the book in college and was, like many readers, truly inspired.
In addition to his impressive and inspirational background, Carson's status as a black conservative is an additional bonus, helping Republicans insulate themselves from criticisms of racism. And, coming from a non-government and non-political background, Carson also has important private-sector "street cred." This is especially true since he has come out as a medical professional opposed to Obamacare.
Though it is widely acknowledged that Carson is unlikely to win the White House, since the last non-politician to win the White House was Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, he is an important Republican contender who will shape the national conversation.
In terms of the national conversation, Carson is now the second major Republican pre-candidate for president to assert that homosexuality is a choice, following former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. While Huckabee likened being gay to "drinking" or "swearing," conscious choices made by individuals, Carson has pointed to prison as the reason why homosexuality is a choice. According to CNN, Carson is asserting that homosexuality is a choice because people enter prison "straight" and come out "gay."
That a medical doctor, especially a neurosurgeon, would consider homosexuality to be a conscious choice rather than an innate orientation is alarming. It is a boneheaded move that tarnishes much of Carson's luster. Carson's political ace in the hole was being seen as something new, a way forward. Now, Carson looks like a throwback to a previous era of bigoted conservatism. Despite his medical credentials and appealing cultural-visual package, Carson is essentially a rebranded version of Mike Huckabee.
Scientific (and medical) consensus says that homosexuality is an innate orientation and not a conscious choice. By insisting otherwise, Carson calls into question his intelligence and abilities. His day in the political sun will now be rapidly waning.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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