Ben Carson Not for Traditional Marriage Amendment

Ben Carson Not for Traditional Marriage Amendment
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Should the Supreme Court decide this month that state same-sex marriage bans are not constitutional, some Republican presidential candidates plan to push for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

But Ben Carson would not be one of them.

In an interview Friday with RealClearPolitics, the neurosurgeon and conservative favorite said although he “would not be in agreement” with a ruling to legalize gay marriage nationwide, “I think you always have the obligation to uphold the laws of the land.”

“My strong belief is that everybody is protected by the Constitution, regardless of their sexual orientation, their race, whatever,” Carson said. “That needs to be our primary focus.”

The Supreme Court is expected to decide within the next two weeks whether state bans on gay marriage are constitutional.

Carson has been vocal about his support for “traditional marriage,” and has indicated that he views homosexuality as a choice.

But he said Friday that his primary concern regarding a Supreme Court ruling would be with any groups granted “extra rights.”  

“We need not be thinking of providing extra rights to anybody. That’s where you get into problems -- where you pick this group or that group and say, ‘Well, let’s change everything for everybody because you want it that way,’” Carson said. “That’s when you start having problems with America as it was envisioned.”

He added: “I would be comfortable with phrasing that said, ‘Everybody in our society has equal rights, and equal rights of association.’”

Carson was in Washington, D.C., to appear at a conference hosted by the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition, where the prospect of the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage was vigorously opposed by many speakers.

Sen. Ted Cruz, another Republican candidate for president, warned in a speech Thursday of a deliberate attempt by Democrats to impose “mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states.”

“I would encourage everyone here to be lifting up in prayer that [the Supreme Court] not engage in an act of naked and lawless judicial activism tearing down the marriage laws adopted pursuant to the Constitution,” Cruz said.

In addition to Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum have said they will push for a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage if the Supreme Court rules to legalize it.

Rebecca Berg is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at


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