Dr Ben Carson is trying to ‘shake up’ his Presidential campaign… by appointing a new chair who thinks gay people should be re-banned from the military.
Former Fox News pundit and neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson was previously considered Donald Trump’s main competition in the polls nationally – but after a number of gaffes his poll numbers have flatlined.
In a bid to reinvigorate his Presidential bid, Carson has ditched a number of his senior advisers, and appointed retired Major General Robert F. Dees as his new campaign chair.
Dees is known for his extreme views on LGBT issues, and has repeatedly called for the US military to re-instate a policy banning gay soldiers – which Barack Obama repealed in 2010.
In September 2015 he claimed that gay soldiers were tantamount to the Obama administration allowing “social engineering” in the military.
Dees said: “I think the moral readiness of our forces is even more important than the physical readiness, which is very low.
“In fact, social experimentation is improperly named because it’s not an experiment at all. It’s a top-driven mandate for social agendas that occurs by this administration within the military, which is a captive audience.
“It is not enhancing our readiness; it declines our readiness. We’re spending more time on some of these social engineering projects than we are on developing and maintaining readiness in our force.”
Dees has also called for women to have a reduced role in the military..
Speaking to CNN, Dr Carson – who has pledged to scrap LGBT rights protections if elected – refused to say whether he held the same views about women and gay people in the military, but said he would “consider” them.
He said: “One of the things that I learned in a long medical career is that you make decisions based on evidence, and not on ideology.
“So yes, I would be willing to sit down with people from both sides and examine the evidence and make decisions based on what the evidence shows.”
Dr Carson is notorious for extreme comments on LGBT rights – though they tend not to attract the media attention of Donald Trump’s inflammatory remarks.
The candidate previously insisted that same-sex marriage is a Marxist plot from the New World Order, claiming in a speech to a listed anti-gay group that gay weddings are part of a plan “to destroy unity [and] bring America down.”
Carson has repeatedly been forced to apologise when caught making overtly homophobic comments – apologising after he was caught comparing gay people to paedophiles, and again apologising after he was caught claiming that prisons ‘prove’ being gay is a choice.
His repeated humiliations have not dissuaded him, however – in October he compared gay couples to conjoined twins.