Ben Carson's Gay-Marriage Misfire

Equating it with pedophilia and bestiality is the exact wrong way to launch a political career.

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And even if it did come down to Carson's Christian beliefs, he might look to 1 John 4:16, which teaches, "Whoever lives in love lives in God ... "

No one is trying to "impose" a gay lifestyle. Carson says that he's not against gays, "as long as they don't try to impose their lifestyle." But you can't impose something that's already there. Gays and lesbians already marry in Europe and Canada. The Mexican Supreme Court just ruled that banning same-sex marriage is "inherently discriminatory." And marriage equality is recognized in Carson's home state of Maryland, 10 other states and the District of Columbia, as well as under three American Indian tribal jurisdictions.

Reasonable minds might disagree. Plus, as a man of medicine, Carson is likely aware of the American Academy of Pediatrics' recent conclusion that "children growing up in households headed by gay men or lesbians are not disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents." In that light, it would probably be more useful to hear Carson offer his assessment as a pediatrician rather than as a nascent cable-news luminary.

Which brings us back to the crux of the issue as it relates to Carson.

His is a stellar name in American life. Let's face it: Cuba Gooding Jr. doesn't play you on the big or the small screen unless you're the first African-American Navy master diver -- or if you're Carson, the first surgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head.

But heretofore, Carson has been known as an all-around mensch. Today he's breaking in on the national political scene as a scold, and not just on fiscal issues, which are far more debatable.

Marriage equality is different because opposing it is opposing the future. And while conservatives might be hoping Carson becomes an emblem of a revived conservative movement, on this particular issue, his attitude is a relic of the past.

David Swerdlick is a contributing editor to The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

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David Swerdlick is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

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