Ben Carson on LGBT community: Jesus died for everyone, including gays and lesbians; equal rights but not extra rights

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to reporters during a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 23, 2016. | REUTERS / Las Vegas Sun / Steve Marcus

Retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate Ben Carson said on Saturday that Jesus died for everyone, and that includes gays and lesbians. Likewise, members of the LGBT community are protected by the Constitution like every citizen of the United States; however, no one should get extra rights.

"Another reason that we must be informed and understand our Constitution is so that people don't manipulate it," he said, as quoted by The Christian Post. "For instance, look at the LGBT community. Now, I don't have anything against gays and lesbians. You know, Christ died for them just like he died for everybody else. Our Constitution protects them just like it protects everybody else. ... Everybody gets equal rights but nobody gets extra rights. Nobody gets to change everything."

According to the report, Carson was speaking during the Road to Majority conference gala dinner, attended by a number of social conservatives like Michele Bachman, former Republican presidential candidate; author Johnnie Moore, a religious freedom activist; and Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America. He told his audience that Christians should defend the Constitution from being manipulated by those who are fighting not for equal rights but for extra rights.

"I personally believe that many people in the LGB community don't feel comfortable with what they are doing and that is why it is so important for them to get affirmation from everybody else and that is why they try to enforce everybody else to accept them and to say that this is what needs to be done," he said. "But there comes a time when people of faith have to be able to stand up for the word of God."

He said that the Bible says what needs to be done, and Christians need to have the courage to take a logical stance, "not against anybody, but for the word of God."

He also asked his audience if the United States has lost trust in God -- if the point has been reached when one does not dare mention the name Jesus.

"The president says that we are not a Christian nation," Carson said. "He doesn't get to decide. We get to decide what kind of nation this is. It means that we get to define our values and our principles."

During the event, Beverly LaHaye, founder of Concerned Women for America, was given the 2016 Faith & Freedom Coalition's Lifetime Achievement Award. She said that she founded the organization in 1979 so that Christian women can have a voice in the national abortion debate.