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Hopkins and its students made the right and decent choice about Carson

3:45 PM EDT, April 16, 2013

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As a gay person, I read with interest a couple of letters in The Sun that commented about how Johns Hopkins coerced Dr. Ben Carson to step down as commencement speaker for the School of Medicine because he publicly expressed himself in opposing same sex marriage, and compared gay people to pedophiles and practitioners of bestiality. These letter writers contended that Dr. Carson was not allowed to freely express his opinions without consequences.

I wonder what these same letter writers would think about a college commencement speaker who would publicly describe women or African Americans in a similarly derogatory manner? Would they hold up the free speech card and say it's OK for someone to hold onto and talk about those views? Of course we all know that in the past, people got away freely with this type of talk.

The plain fact is, gay people don't choose to be gay; it's who we are. To denigrate gay people is to stigmatize and disrespect us. And to say that marriage is between one man and one woman when the state of Maryland has enacted same sex marriage is ludicrous. Dr. Carson can continue to believe whatever he wants and speak about it, but Hopkins and its students made the right and decent choice.

Bill Klemer, Timonium

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