In an interview Sunday with CNN, former
congressman Barney Frank called Ben Carson's statement that prison
can make you gay “abysmally ignorant.”
The 74-year-old openly gay Frank is
currently pitching his new memoir, Frank:
A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage.
Earlier this month, Ben Carson, a
possible GOP presidential candidate, made headlines when he said that
prison can make people gay.
“Absolutely,” Carson answered when
asked if being gay is a choice. “Because a lot of people go into
prison straight and when they come out they're gay.”
Carson opposed to marriage equality because some inmates turn gay in
Later in the day, Carson apologized for
the remark and vowed he would no longer talk about gay rights.
“It is striking about how human
intelligence can vary,” Frank
said. “[Carson] is apparently a first rate surgeon but when it
comes to something this basic about human nature he's abysmally
“Secondly, he wants to use that
ignorance in the defense of prejudice. And most discouraging of all,
being ignorant and bigoted against gay and lesbian people doesn't
seem to hurt him with the Republican primary electorate.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Frank
answered “yes” when asked if there are closeted gay members in
the House, which he's okay with.
“The issue where they lose me is
hypocrisy,” Frank said. “What I think is unacceptable is to vote
a certain set of rules as an elected official and then to violate
them yourself. But if you are a Democrat, Republican, whatever, and
you vote to allow people to do what you do, then I have no demand
that you become public.”