Dr. Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins University and a conservative celebrity, has stepped down as commencement speaker at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after comments he made during a Fox News interview drew a loud outcry from students and faculty.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Carson withdrew from the event in a letter he sent to medical school Dean Paul Rothman.

“Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interest of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year,” Carson wrote.

In the past weeks, Carson has walked back and apologized for comments he made during an appearance on Hannity.

“My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “It's a well-established, fundamental pillar of society, and no group, be the gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality – it doesn't matter what they are – they don't get to change the definition,” Carson said, referring to the North American Man Boy/Love Association, a group which is thought to no longer exist.

Last week, he apologized to John Hopkins University for his “poorly chosen words.”

“I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused,” Carson said. “But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology.”

“Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point.”