Metro Weekly

Ben Carson calls LGBT rights “extra rights” in confirmation hearing

Trump's HUD nominee indicates he doesn't believe LGBT people are entitled to special protections

Ben Carson – Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr

Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump’s preferred pick for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is standing by his longstanding belief that LGBT people are not entitled to special protections under the law.

During his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate, Carson was questioned by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) as to whether he’d enforce pro-LGBT housing policies in his new role, reports The Hill.

“Of course, I would enforce all the laws of the land,” Carson said. “Of course, I think all Americans should be protected by the law. What I have said before is I don’t think anyone should get ‘extra rights.'”

Carson was also asked to defend his views on affirmative action in housing programs. Carson has previously criticized low-income housing and other safety net programs in general, lamenting that they create a culture of dependency. He also criticized a fair housing rule that seeks to combat racial discrimination, calling it a “mandated social-engineering scheme” that sought to “legislate racial equality.”

LGBT advocates, in particular, are concerned about whether Carson will keep in place nondiscrimination policies that HUD has adopted in recent years. One such rule prohibits homeless shelters from discriminating against transgender people by allowing them to be housed in facilities that match their gender identity.

Carson has a long history of anti-LGBT statements, blaming gay marriage for the fall of the Roman Empire, saying that prisons prove homosexuality is a choice (something he later apologized for), and insisting that biological sex is immutable, calling the concept of being transgender “the height of absurdity.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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