- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2015

Amid heavy criticism, the Southern Poverty Law Center has apologized and removed an “Extremist File” it had posted in the fall on retired neurosurgeon and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson.

“This week, as we’ve come under intense criticism for doing so, we’ve reviewed our profile and have concluded that it did not meet our standards, so we have taken it down and apologize to Dr. Carson for having posted it,” the group said in a statement.

The group still maintained that Mr. Carson “has, in fact, made a number of statements that express views that we believe most people would conclude are extreme.”

“We laud Dr. Carson for his many contributions to medicine and his philanthropic work, and we, like so many others, are inspired by his personal story,” the statement continued. “Nevertheless, particularly because Dr. Carson is such a prominent person, we believe that his views should be closely examined.”

The group goes on to list a number of past quotes from Mr. Carson; for example, speaking on Fox News’ “Hannity” in March 2013, he said that marriage is between a man in a woman, and “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.”

Several days later, Mr. Carson was quoted by the Baltimore Sun as saying, “I think people have completely taken the wrong meaning out of what I was saying. First of all, I certainly believe gay people should have all the rights that anybody else has. What I was basically saying is that as far as marriage is concerned, that has traditionally been between a man and a woman, and nobody should be able to change that.”

David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times.

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