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Ben Carson Issues Apology Over Controversial Claims About Homosexuality and Prison: 'We Are All Made in God's Image

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"I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation..."

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 7: Dr. Benjamin Carson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton February 7, 2013 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly used the occasion to call for unity and common ground Washington politics. Credit: Getty Images

Famed neurosurgeon and prospective politico Dr. Ben Carson issued an apology on his Facebook page on Wednesday night just hours after a controversial CNN segment aired during which he said that he believes homosexuality is a choice, offering up the example of people who "go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay" to corroborate his claim.

Carson, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate who said he supports "human rights and constitutional protections for gay people," wrote that he now realizes that his "choice of language does not reflect [his] full heart on gay issues."

"I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive," Carson wrote. "For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended."

Carson cited his medical experience, claiming that, from what experts know, there is nothing definitive to corroborate the notion that people are "born into a specific sexuality," though he highlighted two facts that he does know for certain.

"We are always born male and female," Carson continued. "And I know that we are all made in God's image, which means we are all deserving of respect and dignity."

Getty Images Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson is apologizing over comments he made about homosexuality (Getty Images)

The prospective presidential candidate — who wrote that he "is not a politician," admitting that he answered the question about homosexuality without adequately thinking it through — proceeded to outline that he stands for protections for gays and lesbians and has backed civil unions for years, adding that he believes states should reserve the right to either sanction or deny gay marriage.

"I also think that marriage is a religious institution. Religious marriage is an oath before God and congregation," Carson wrote. "Religious marriage must only be governed by the church. Judges and government must not be allowed to restrict religious beliefs."

He concluded by explaining that he "deeply regrets" his statement and that he plans to always "take full responsibility" if and when he makes an error in the future.

"As a human being my obligation is to learn from my mistakes and to treat all people with respect and dignity," he wrote.

The apology comes after Carson told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he "absolutely" believes that homosexuality is a choice, proceeding to offer up a controversial example.

"Because a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay,” Carson said. “So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question."

Watch that clip below:

Read the apology in its entirety here.

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