DrcarsonDr. Benjamin Carson, a world-class neurosurgeon and professor at the John Hopkins School of Medicine, has apologized Friday for his “choice of words” in discussing the definition of marriage. As reported by the Baltimore Sun on Saturday, Carson’s discussion on Fox News on the subject of gay marriage caused controversy as the professor grouped gays with members of the North American Boy/Man Love Association and people who engage in bestiality.

Dr. Carson said to Fox News on Tuesday:

“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.”

The Hopkins professor attributed his beliefs to his Christian values and his belief in the Bible but has apologized for offending anyone and said his comment was taken out of context. His apology comes after a petition has been circulated at John Hopkins Medical to have him removed as commencement speaker in May.

“I think people have completely taken the wrong meaning out of what I was saying. First of all, I certainly believe gay people should have all the rights that anybody else has. What I was basically saying is that as far as marriage is concerned that has traditionally been between a man and a woman and nobody should be able to change that.”

Dr. Carson admitted that the examples he used were not the best choice but stood by his opinion that no group should be able to change the system. Because of the backlash his comments have caused, the professor also announced he was open to withdrawing himself as the Hopkins commencement speaker.

Students sent a letter to administrators of the school citing Carson’s comments as “deeply offensive” and stated that they “feel that these expressed values are incongruous with the values of Johns Hopkins and deeply offensive to a large proportion of our student body”.