Trump official Ben Carson has argued that gay people shouldn’t get “extra rights” like marriage.
The conservative Christian, who was chosen by president-elect Donald Trump to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, made the comments at his confirmation hearing on Thursday.
When questioned about protections for LGBT+ people in public housing, Carson said: “Of course, I would enforce all the laws of the land, and I believe that all Americans should be protected by the law.
“[But] what I have mentioned in the past is the fact that no one gets ‘extra rights’. ‘Extra rights’ means you get to redefine everything for everybody else – that, to me, doesn’t seem to be very democratic.”
The retired neurosurgeon was repeating comments he made in 2014 at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he argued that gay people shouldn’t get ‘extra rights’ such as the ability to get married.
He said: “Of course gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, but they don’t get ‘extra rights’. They don’t get to redefine marriage.”
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) January 12, 2017
Carson, who ran against Trump for Republican nominee and later endorsed him, has made several questionable comments about the LGBT+ community, having once claimed that same-sex marriage would bring “mass killings”.
He also attempted to support his belief that being gay is a choice with the argument: “A lot of people who go into prison [are] straight, and when they come out, they’re gay.”
Carson isn’t the only anti-LGBT+ figure to be nominated for Trump’s cabinet – David Clarke, who the president-elect is reportedly vetting for Department of Homeland Security, once said transgender people lead a “freakish lifestyle”.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that Trump’s attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions once launched a public campaign to ban an LGBT rights group from holding a meeting at the University of Alabama.