Carson Refuses CNN LGBT Question: Can’t We Talk About Something ‘More Important?’

Thursday, CNN’s Brianna Keilar questioned former Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson over whether he believes gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans face discrimination because he objects to equating gay rights with civil rights.

Partial transcript as follows:

KEILAR: Do you think that gay Americans are discriminated against, that they face discrimination?”

CARSON: I don’t want to talk about the gay issue unless you can get the answer to this question. Who believes in the traditional marriage that would be acceptable?

KEILAR: Sir, if you’re running for president, I think it’s fair to ask you this question. Part of being a candidate is to answer questions. Can you tell us if — I understand you saying it’s not exactly the same, but people look at that. Some people look at that and say we’re talking about two groups that have faced discrimination and I wonder if you think gay Americans face discrimination even if it’s not at water fountains.

CARSON: I made my opinion quite clear on this issue. I think the Constitution protects every single American. Everybody has equal rights, not extra rights.

KEILAR:: I’m asking you then if you think gay Americans are protected from being discriminated against and do they face discrimination? Do you think they do?

CARSON: Everybody should be protected against discrimination. Can we move on to something more important?

KEILAR:  No, you haven’t answered my question. You haven’t answered, are gay Americans discriminated against? It’s a very simple question. I’m asking to you clarify your remarks.

CARSON: I just said everybody needs to be protected from discrimination. Everybody probably has somebody who discriminates against them because there are people with small minds who think that way.

KEILAR: So you’re saying gay Americans are discriminated against?

CARSON: I’m saying every group faces some type of discrimination. Christians face a lot of discrimination. I wish we could talk more about that.

KEILAR: So do you not want to talk about discrimination against gay Americans?

CARSON: I just gave you an answer.

KEILAR: OK. I will say that I think you gave me part of an answer but not a complete one. Let’s move on.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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