Speaking this week with Larry King on his Web show "Politicking," potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate and rising conservative star Dr. Ben Carson issued a confusing and somewhat contradictory statement about his stance on the same-sex marriage.
When King asked Carson if he considers same-sex marriage to be a "civil rights issue," Carson replied that he doesn't think it's a civil rights issue, and further added that he believes in the Libertarian idiom of "live and let live," which is the belief that people should be allowed to live their life any way they see fit.
"For me, it's not a big issue," Carson said. "You know, I think any people can do anything they want to do."
Carson, who's a retired world-renowned neurosurgeon and best-selling author, continued by saying that just because people should be allowed to do as they please, that doesn't grant them the ability to change the definition of marriage, which he personally feels should only be between a man and a woman.
"It's just that they don't get to redefine everything for anybody else," Carson said. "So I'm very much a Libertarian in the sense of believing live and let live, but that goes in both directions and some people don't recognize that."
Carson did not elaborate in his interview with King as to whether or not he feels that same-sex couples should be allowed, under law, to get married and receive the same marital benefits as hetrosexual couples. But in an interview with Newsmax's Ed Berliner over the summer, Carson issued the notion that there's ground for compromise between traditional marriage advocates and the LGBT community.
"If they want to form some kind of relationship and call it something else, I don't have any problem with that," Carson said. "I don't think I can impose my will on any two consenting adults. They can do what they want to do. I'm not going to try to stop them from doing that, but they don't get to change the definition."
Carson also accused gay marriage advocates of imposing their will upon those who only believe in traditional marriage. Carson compared LGBT activists' attempts to overhaul society's view on marriage to incorrect mathematicians that try to impose newfound theories on other mathematicians.
"It is kind of like a new group of mathematicians that come along. They say, 'two plus two is five.' And the traditionalists say, 'no, it's four, has always been four and always will be four,'" Carson said. "And the new ones say, 'no, we insist that it's five.' Then the traditionalists say, 'for you, it will be five, but we are keeping it as four.' And the new ones say, 'no, no, it has to be five for you too."
Carson, who has preached heavily against the political correctness that's prominent in today's political climate, said it's ridiculous for people to be called homophobic because of their faith-based belief in traditional marriage, and there has to be some room for discussion before imposing same-sex marriage on all of society.
"People have to be willing to understand that not everybody thinks the same way," Carson said. "What they have to be willing to do is engage in conversation. I talk a lot about getting rid of political correctness and replacing it with civil discourse."
Carson has provided much speculation in the last year about his possible run for president, but has yet to officially announce his candidacy. Carson, who has the benefit of an unaffiliated Super PAC with campaign efforts already underway, was featured in an hour-long campaign documentary which was broadcasted in 22 states last weekend and was designed to introduce Carson to voters.
Carson commented on his potential bid for president in his interview with King by giving his standard remark that he has no desire to run for president, but if fellow citizens keep asking him to run than he'll be forced to consider his candidacy.
"There's a possibility," Carson said when asked by King if he's considering a run for president. "I'm a surgeon, so I have a surgeon's personality, which means you look very carefully before you leap, and I need to be quite certain that that's something that my compatriots in America really want me to do."