The Washington Times - April 11, 2013, 09:45AM

Conservative darling and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has canceled a scheduled commencement speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after an uproar over his gay-marriage stance, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Mr. Carson, the director of Johns Hopkins’ Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, now says he does not want to “distract from the celebratory nature of the day” after students complained about his public opposition to same-sex marriage.

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“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,” Mr. Carson wrote in a letter to medical school Dean Paul B. Rothman, The Sun reported.

Mr. Carson is preparing to retire from medicine in June and at the same time is boosting his political profile. He’s taken aim at President Obama’s health care law as rumors swirl that he’s pondering a run for political office, possibly for president in 2016.

But his recent remarks during a Fox News interview may complicate matters.

“Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are — they don’t get to change the definition,” he told Fox News. NAMBLA is the acronym for the North American Man/Boy Love Association.

He later apologized for those words while reiterating his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.