Former Republican presidential candidate and expert on all things LGBT, Dr. Ben Carson, said Monday that being transgender “doesn’t make any sense” and compared it to a person waking up one morning and deciding to change their ethnicity.
“For someone to wake up and think that they belong to a different sex because they feel different that day is the same as if you woke up and said, ‘I’m Afghani today because I saw a movie about that last night, and even though my genetics might not indicate that, that’s the way I feel, and if you say that I’m not, then you’re a racist,’ ” Carson told The Hill.
“It’s the same kind of situation,” he added. “What we ought to do is utilize our brains, utilize our common sense as human beings. We’ve known what men are and what women are for thousands of years. So we don’t know anything, everything is relative — this doesn’t make any sense.”
Carson’s interview with The Hill comes ahead of his prime-time speech to the Republican National Convention.[RELATED: Prison Inmate Gives Us The 411 On DL Gay Sex & Surviving Prison As A Gay Man]
“It’s not based on your feelings, it’s based on what you are,” Carson said. “Can a leopard change its spots? No. It can’t because it feels like maybe it’s a different creature. No. it’s still a leopard. Sorry.”
This isn’t the first time Carson has made controversial remarks about the LGBT community. Last year, Carson told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that being gay is “absolutely” a choice because prisons prove people choose to be gay.
“Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay,” Carson said. “So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
The former neurosurgeon argued that LGBT people do not deserve the same equal protection under the law because they could choose not to be gay.
“You can’t just say because it happened that way, this time this is the same situation,” Carson explained. “It’s not the same situation. Because people have no control over their race for instance.”
“You think they have control over their sexuality?” Cuomo asked.
“Absolutely,” Carson replied.
“You think being gay is a choice,” Cuomo pressed.
“Absolutely,” Carson said. “Because a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
To be clear, The American Psychological Association says “there is no consensus among scientists” on how a person’s sexual orientation is developed.”