August 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Controversial conservative neurosurgeon to speak at anti-gay summit
Ben Carson, who drew fire for anti-gay remarks, has been confirmed to speak at an anti-gay conference (Screenshot courtesy Family Research Council).

Ben Carson, who drew fire for anti-gay remarks, has been confirmed to speak at an anti-gay conference (Screenshot courtesy Family Research Council).

The conservative neurosurgeon who drew fire for comparing LGBT advocacy to pedophilia and bestiality is now confirmed to speak at a high-profile conference this fall hosted by the anti-gay Family Research Council.

On Monday, the Family Research Council announced in an email blast to supporters it has confirmed Ben Carson, who formerly was a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University before retiring last month, for its Value Voters Summit in D.C. between Oct. 11-13.

In March, Carson sparked outrage when he said during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity he believes marriage is one man, one woman — a definition that he called “a well-established fundamental pillar of society.”

“And no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association,) be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn’t matter what they are — they don’t get to change the definition,” Carson continued.

At that time, Carson was set to deliver the commencement address for Johns Hopkins University. In a later interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Carson apologized “if anybody was offended” and said he’d be open to withdrawing as speaker if students didn’t want him. As controversy ensued and a student petition circulated calling for his removal as speaker, Carson withdrew from the ceremony.

Carson is considered a rising star in the Republican Party, and conservative commentators have talked about him engaging in political career. The Family Research Council’s notice touts his speaking role at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast and his designation as a Presidential Medal for Freedom recipient. Carson didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment on why he wanted to speak at the Values Voters Summit.

Speakers at the Values Voters Summit; a conference for social conservatives, often express anti-gay views. It remains to be seen whether Carson will speak to the issue of homosexuality during his remarks.

In last year’s summit, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan spoke as well as lawmakers like Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), who decried the Obama administration for refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

Michael Cole-Schwartz, a Human Rights Campaign spokesperson, said Carson’s decision to appear at the summit reinforces that he’s member of the far-right wing of the Republican Party.

“Ben Carson has further cemented his place on the far right wing with his association with the Family Research Council,” Cole-Schwartz said. “Their event is a cavalcade of some of the most virulently anti-LGBT leaders in this country and his divisive views will be in good company.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Luda Chris

    Write to Johns Hopkins Hospital and complain LOUDLY about this a-hole and his public speaking with his baseless propaganda about the L.G.B.T. community! He is not a well person mentally. Do it and get him off the staff of such a good hospital. Can you imagine how badly he treats his gay and lesbian patients?

  • Johnny Harper

    Ben Carson is NOT GOD period !!!!!!!! Dr. Carson CANNOT read GOD’s MIND period !!!!!!! How do I know God speaks with Dr. Ben Carson ?????? Ben Carson is NOT Moses or Daniel the lion or Noah or Samson period !!!!!! Does God tell Dr. Carson to run for a president of the USA ????? STOP LISTEN the sinners… JUST LISTEN GOD PERIOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Heather

    Personally, I say kudos to him for stating what he believes. Of course, to the “pro-gay” community I’m a bigot because, like Dr. Carson, I’m what they would categorize as “anti-gay”, and I am, in the same sense that I’m also “anti-alcoholism”, “anti-drug addiction”, “anti-domestic violence”, and “anti- fill-in-the-blanks-with-whatever-self-and-relationship-damaging-thing-you-want”.

    He didn’t say gays were into bestiality, nor pedophilia. He simply classified it where it belongs: with other behaviors that diverge from the Biblical parameters for sex. (Psst! Heterosexual sex between unmarried people goes into this category too, f.y.i.)

    What’s so funny (and sad), is that while they’re so busy labeling good people horrible things for refusing to compromise their beliefs (and let me be very clear, here: I have never, not once, been asked for “tolerance” from the LGBT community. I have only been ordered to compromise what is true for the lie in which they’re ensnared, and labeled when I won’t. I will certainly let you live the way you want to live- even when it diverges from that which is right- without interference or persecution from me (this fits a couple of definitions for the word “tolerance”, which is, according to “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own”, or another definition from the same source “the act or capacity of enduring”), but I will not support that which is wrong, for any reason.

  • Johnny Harper

    Need to focus on Lord Jesus Christ, Son of living God word than Dr. Ben Carson. He is a man, not a God. God does not speak or send or appoint for they have a false teaching, false vision, divinations, and their own mind, not from mouth of Almightly God. Dr. Ben Carson is not Moses or Daniel the lion, or others. Dr. Ben Carson can has his own mind, not a God. Does God speak out Dr. Ben Carson to run a president of the USA ??? Does God speak out ?? who is MIND ? God or Man Who do you trust ?

    • Johnny Harper

      God NEVER a mistake !!! God NEVER lies !!!! President George Bush broke his oath that he let the people down !!! it makes a sense !!! God does not speak with the former President Bush who ran in the White House. Who do you trust ? God or Man. Picture it !!!!!! I trust Jesus Christ, son of living GOD all my mind, soul, heart FOREVER !!!!!! I am a deaf African-American gentleman and is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Jesus Christ can save YOU, not in church. YES, I do love and forgive Dr. Ben Carson and all the people on this world. Please REMEMBER Dr. Ben Carson is NOT a God. :)

  • Anonymous

    Would he treat a gay patient, and would he behave towards this patient the same was as any other patient? Especially, would he respect his next of kin? If not, he should lose his medical license.

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