CNN host Ashleigh Banfield on Friday awkwardly explained that she had misspoken when she said that “homosexuality is a lifestyle choice.”
During a Thursday segment about Kansas Pastor Curtis Knapp, who believes that LGBT people should be executed by the government, Banfield attempted to address his comparison between homosexuality and pedophilia.
“Pedophilia is not by choice, last I checked,” the CNN host said. “Those things are often not by choice and are crimes. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice by people; it is voluntary.”
By Thursday evening, Banfield had issued the following clarification on Twitter: “Incest and pedophelia are CRIMES & victims have no choice. Being gay is not. Relatnshps r by choice. Way of life not crime.”
During Friday morning’s CNN broadcast, she continued trying to clear things up.
“I probably misspoke and mangled words, but I want to be very clear,” Banfield insisted. “When I said that incest and pedophilia involve people who don’t have a choice — victims who don’t have a choice — and then said a gay relationship, you do have a choice, they are not crimes.”
“Gay people involved in relationships are not committing any crimes at all,” she continued. “I don’t know that my comments were taken in that light and I certainly hope they were, but in no way did I ever want to suggest that being gay is a choice. It is not. And I probably used the word “lifestyle choice” — not what I meant to say at all.”
“Being gay is not a choice; being in a voluntary gay relationship is a choice. It is not a crime.”
Watch this video from CNN’s Early Start, broadcast June 1, 2012.