Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said on Monday that being transgender makes just about as much sense as a person deciding to change his or her ethnicity or a leopard deciding to identify as a tiger.
In an interview with The Hill, the 64-year-old retired and renowned pediatric neurosurgeon asserted that the idea of a person being transgender "doesn't make any sense."
"For someone to wake up and think that they belong to a different sex because they feel different that day is the same as if you woke up and said, 'I'm Afghani today because I saw a movie about that last night, and even though my genetics might not indicate that, that's the way I feel, and if you say that I'm not, then you're a racist,'" said Carson, who was in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention.
"It's the same kind of situation," he continued.
Carson's comments come amid much debate this year regarding the question of whether transgender individuals have the right to use restrooms and changing rooms consistent with their gender identity.
Earlier this year, North Carolina passed a law that requires transgender individuals to use state-maintained bathrooms consistent with their biological gender, sparking much outrage among the LGBT community and its supporters.
The transgender debate got even more heated when the Justice Department and the Department of Education issued a guidance to all public school districts in the country that urged them, along with a defunding threat, to allow transgender students to have access to bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.
"What we ought to do is utilize our brains, utilize our common sense as human beings," Carson said in the interview. "We've known what men are and what women are for thousands of years. So [the notion that] we don't know anything, everything is relative — this doesn't make any sense."
Carson added that biological reality is not based on how a person feels.
"It's not based on your feelings, it's based on what you are," Carson argued. "Can a leopard change its spots? No. It can't because it feels like maybe it's a different creature. No. it's still a leopard. Sorry."
In the past, Carson, a strong believer in traditional Christian marriage, has issued critical remarks about the LGBT community that many may find insensitive.
Just last month, Carson gave a keynote speech at the Faith & Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference gala dinner in Washington, D.C., where he argued that many in the LGBT community try to get objectors to conform because LGBT individuals are not "comfortable with what they are doing."
"I personally believe that many people in the LGB[T] community don't feel comfortable with what they are doing and that is why it is so important for them to get affirmation from everybody else and that is why they try to enforce everybody else to accept them and to say that this is what needs to be done," Carson said. "But there comes a time when people of faith have to be able to stand up for the word of God."
In that same speech, Carson asserted that Americans must protect the U.S. Constitution so that it can't be manipulated to grant "extra rights."
"Another reason that we must be informed and understand our Constitution is so that people don't manipulate it. For instance, look at the LGBT community," Carson said. "Now, I don't have anything against gays and lesbians. You know, Christ died for them just like he died for everybody else. Our Constitution protects them just like it protects everybody else … Everybody gets equal rights but nobody gets extra rights. Nobody gets to change everything."
Speaking at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night, Carson warned that if America allows the "secular progressive agenda" to continue, God will remove His hand of blessing from America. Carson even went as far as to tie presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to Lucifer.
"The secular progressive agenda is antithetical to the principles of the founding of this nation and if we continue to allow them to take God out of our lives, God will remove Himself from us," Carson said. "We will not be blessed and our nation will go down the tubes and we will be responsible for that. We don't want that to happen."