Soft-spoken Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson, who has been known to whisper that homosexuality is "absolutely" a choice, was confronted by a real live gay person of a differing opinion in New York City on Monday, according to ABC News.
"Do you think I chose to be gay?" they asked Carson following a town hall meeting in the Republican-stronghold borough of Staten Island. Carson, who is a retired neurosurgeon, responded by saying: "That’s a long conversation."
"I think you're full of shit," the person in the Pride Center of Staten Island T-shirt said.
Carson does not support marriage equality and called marriage a "religious institution" in a Facebook post where he was attempting to clarify his statement that sexual orientation was "absolutely" a choice. However, in that same "apology" the Republican candidate also insisted no studies disproved that theory.
Carson is no stranger to controversial opinions, such as his views on evolution. Additionally, he supports "right to discriminate" legislation signed earlier this year (but amended) by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
At the right-wing gathering called the Iowa Freedom Summit, Carson explained his views regarding the right to discriminate against same-sex couples seeking a wedding cake. "What I have a problem with is when people try to force people to act against their beliefs because they say ‘They’re discriminating against me," he said. “So they can go right down the street and buy a cake, but no, let’s bring a suit against this person because I want them to make my cake even though they don’t believe in it. Which is really not all that smart because they might put poison in that cake.”
Carson later told Fox News that those who took offense at his joke — which used poisoning same-sex couples as a punch line — were being "immature."
Watch the video from ABC News campaign correspondent Ben Gittleson, below:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 5, 2016