- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson said Thursday that everyone should be protected against discrimination, but that no one has “extra rights.”

Mr. Carson was asked on CNN about comments he made in a recent Fox News interview in which he said he was “irritated” by a perceived equating of gay rights with the Civil Rights movement in a previous interview with CNN.

“Because, quite frankly, I didn’t remember any times when there were signs up that says, you know, ‘Everybody else here, and gay people have to drink at this fountain,’ ” he told Fox News’ Bret Baier.

Asked on CNN Thursday afternoon if he thinks gay Americans are discriminated against, Mr. Carson, speaking via phone, replied: “I don’t really want to talk about the gay issue except [for] maybe you can get the answer for this question: What position can a person take who has no animosity toward gay people but believes in the traditional definition of marriage that would be acceptable?”

“I’ve made my opinion quite clear on this issue: I think the Constitution protects every single American, and everybody has equal rights, nobody has extra rights,” he said.

Asked again if gay Americans face discrimination, Mr. Carson said: “Everybody should be protected against discrimination.”

As host Brianna Keilar pressed the question of whether gay Americans face discrimination, Mr. Carson said: “Can we move on to something more important?”

“I just said everybody needs to be protected from discrimination,” he said. “Everybody probably has somebody who discriminates against ‘em because there are people with small minds who think that way. Every group faces some type of discrimination. Christians face a lot of discrimination — I wish we would talk more about that.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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