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Ben Carson, the Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon and newly minted conservative celebrity who inspired a hundred op-eds, has apologized for comparing gay couples seeking legal recognition of their relationships to NAMBLA and those who practice bestiality. In an email delivered on Friday afternoon to students, staff and faculty at Johns Hopkins University, where he has worked for 36 years, Carson explained that he had not selected the most effective words to express his belief that marriage should remain limited to heterosexual relationships. "My poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology," he wrote. "Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe. There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into the political world and this is one I will not forget."

Arriving along with Carson's apology, according to New York magazine, was another email, sent moments later, from dean of JHU's medical school which explained, "Dr. Carson’s comments are inconsistent with the culture of our institution." The emails provide a two-fold reversal: here, in private, was Carson's full, sincere apology for his very public remarks, plus the official admonition of Johns Hopkins University, which up until now has declined to take a stance on Carson's commentary. Read together, they seem to indicate that Carson is just now realizing the stature he's achieved as a public face of the Republican Party.

The realization does seem a little late coming. Carson willingly entered the political spotlight when he delivered a long speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in February, concerning his distaste for political correctness and the need for lower tax rates. Amidst the fallout of his speech, he began appearing on Fox News Channel to defend himself, and later became a semi-regular guest on Hannity, an evening talk show hosted by Sean Hannity, to weigh in on various political stories. Otherwise known for successfully separating conjoined twins, Carson's concord with the Republican Party's platform earned him a speaking slot at CPAC, in mid-March, but didn't become that much of a problem until March 26, when he made the aforementioned comment about gay couples.

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