Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said Friday that the Supreme Court's decision to strike down bans on same-sex marriages was a sign that America could be mired in "chaos," "pretty soon."
Carson's comments came hours after the 5-4 decision was handed down. They appeared to expand upon a formal statement he issued, which referred to the decision as "the law of the land," while calling for "Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected."
Speaking that afternoon to radio host Simon Conway, Carson reiterated that he was "disappointed" and "not convinced" that the Court was playing the role that "the Founders intended" for it.
But he also said, "I don't have anything whatsoever against gay people or any people of any orientation getting together."
"I don't have anything whatsoever against gay people or any people of any orientation getting together, sharing property, hospital visitation rights, whatever they want to do," he claimed. "I have no problem with it, I'm happy for them to make a legal contract to do that."
Carson then argued that his problem was with "when you want to change things" and that, if other groups started demanding changes to laws in a similar manner, it would invite "chaos."
"What I have a problem with is when you want to change things," the retired neurosurgeon explained. "If everybody gets the right to change things for their group, what will we have pretty soon, other than chaos? So let's respect everybody and let everybody do what they want to do but don't change things for everybody else."
Asked by Conway about the possibility of the 5-4 decision eroding religious liberty in the US, Carson said, "It's already happened," before telling a story of a couple he said had lost their business for refusing to "participate in a gay marriage ceremony."
"I was talking to a couple here in Iowa a couple weeks ago," Carson recalled. "And, you know, they did not want to participate in a gay marriage ceremony. And the couple could easily have gone to some other person, but no they didn't want to and they had a lawsuit and they recently had to close their business. You know, this shouldn't be going on in the United States of America. That's what religious freedom is all about."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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