Ben Carson withdraws from speech

April 11, 2013, 2:48 PM GMT+0

Famed neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has chosen to withdraw from being a commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University after protest over Carson's controversial statements on same-sex marriage.

Carson, an outspoken conservative, draw criticism over a statement he made on Fox News in late March which critics say likened homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality.

Said Carson, "Marriage is between a man and a woman. 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."

After the appearance, Carson's statements drew criticism both by both Hopkins medical school dean Paul Rothman and by students.

While Carson then apologized both publicly and in a letter to Hopkins faculty and students, he decided to step down, citing a desire not to "distract from the celebratory nature of the day" because of the media attention he has drawn.

Carson, who achieved prominence as the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, has recently made a name for himself as a conservative media figure after his speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.

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