Hours after making questionable claims about homosexuality, former neurosurgeon and prospective GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson told Fox News’ Sean Hannity he was done discussing marriage equality, the National Journal reported.
This story has been updated. Please see below.
“I simply have decided I’m not going to really talk about that issue anymore,” Carson said in a phone interview on Hannity’s show on Wednesday. “Every time I’m gaining momentum, the political press says, ‘Let’s talk about gay rights.’ And I’m just not going to fall for that anymore.”
Earlier in the day, Carson argued in an interview with CNN that being gay is a choice, saying “a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.”
He also rejected the idea of granting same-sex couples the legal right to marry, saying it would “change the definition” of the practice.
“Why can’t any two human beings — I don’t care what their sexual orientation is — why can’t they have the legal right to do those things?” Carson asked New Day host Chris Cuomo.
Hannity asked Carson to explain his comments, pointing out that it was likely to become a recurring issue if he decides to follow through on a presidential campaign.
“You were asked a question — and it’s gonna come up, these questions are going to come up all the time — this one happened to be about gay rights,” Hannity said. “And you said that you believe that it is a choice: you know, nature, nurture, all that sort of thing.”
“First of all, it was a 25-minute interview,” Carson responded. “They chopped, and you see what part they emphasized. We talked about some really important things. None of that was brought out. But I did learn something very important: for certain networks, never do a pre-taped interview. Always do it live.”
However, Hannity did not mention that footage of the CNN interview clearly shows no editing or cuts in the conversation between Carson and Cuomo.
“So then they cut it up and they slice-and-dice,” Hannity said. “It’s not in its proper context; they put this part in but not that part in.”
Update, 11:12 p.m. EST: Fox News reported that Carson issued an apology in a statement.
“I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation,” Carson said “I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended.”
Listen to audio from Hannity’s interview with Carson, as posted online on Wednesday, below.