By AT News Team, March 5, 2015:   Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon who may run for president of the United States of America, has apologized for comments he made this week about homosexuality.

On a CNN television program, Carson told Chris Cuomo that being gay is a choice. Carson pointed to prison in order to support his views: “Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay.”

On Wednesday (March 4) Carson posted an apology on his Facebook page. His message clarified his views regarding sexual orientation, marriage and the U.S. Constitution. Here is the apology in full:

In a recent interview on CNN, I realized that my choice of language does not reflect fully my heart on gay issues.

I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended.

I’m a doctor trained in multiple fields of medicine, who was blessed to work at perhaps the finest institution of medical knowledge in the world. Some of our brightest minds have looked at this debate, and up until this point there have been no definitive studies that people are born into a specific sexuality. We do know, however, that we are always born male and female. And I know that we are all made in God’s image, which means we are all deserving of respect and dignity.

I support human rights and Constitutional protections for gay people, and I have done so for many years. I support civil unions for gay couples, and I have done so for many years. I support the right of individual states to sanction gay marriage, and I support the right of individual states to deny gay marriage in their respective jurisdictions.

I also think that marriage is a religious institution. Religious marriage is an oath before God and congregation. Religious marriage must only be governed by the church. Judges and government must not be allowed to restrict religious beliefs.

I am not a politician and I answered a question without really thinking about it thoroughly. No excuses. I deeply regret my statement and I promise you, on this journey, I may err again, but unlike politicians when I make an error I will take full responsibility and never hide or parse words. As a human being my obligation is to learn from my mistakes and to treat all people with respect and dignity.[1]

On March 3, Carson announced via Twitter that he had formed a Presidential Exploratory Committee, a major step toward officially launching a campaign. At the end of February, Carson placed fourth in the Conservative Political Action Committee’s (CPAC) annual straw poll, receiving 11.4 percent of the votes. Carson is well-known to Adventists for his books Gifted Hands and Think Big.