When you live in an area surrounded by some of the top universities in the country, commencement tickets are hot items. Dr. Ben Carson’s speech was going to be one I was looking forward to hearing. My friend’s husband was planning on giving him an extra ticket, but I guess I won’t need it because Ben Carson is no longer the commencement speaker this year at Johns Hopkins. The students at Johns Hopkins started a petition to have Carson replaced after he made controversial statements in regards to gay marriage. Dr. Carson made mention of bestiality and pedophilia while arguing against gay marriage in a TV interview:
“[Traditional marriage is] a well-established, fundamental pillar of society 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,” Carson said in the Fox News interview, referring to the North American Man/Boy Love Association, which seeks to overturn pedophilia laws.
Dr. Carson withdrew from his commencement duties via an email to the dean of Johns Hopkins:
Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interests of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year. My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day. Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me.
Regardless of his political sentiments, it would have been interesting to hear a speech from someone who has accomplished so much in his medical career.