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Did Ben Carson just endorse transgender bathrooms?

In an interview Thursday, Republican candidate Ben Carson gave his take on transgender bathrooms. 

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Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is interviewed in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015.

Danny Johnston/AP/File

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"How about we have a transgender bathroom?" said Ben Carson, the leading GOP presidential candidate, in an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos Thursday.

"It is not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable. It’s one of the things I don’t particularly like about the movement."

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Dr. Carson’s statements caused quite a stir, with LGBT supporters quickly condemning the presidential hopeful’s words.

"Ben Carson can’t go a week without invoking reckless and irresponsible stereotypes about the LGBT community," said Chad Griffin, president of the pro-LGBT equality Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

"His suggestion that transgender people be required to use segregated bathrooms echoes an ugly past our country should never revisit," he added.

Carson’s comments come amid a national debate over transgender bathroom rights, made public by the rejection of an anti-discrimination ordinance in Houston earlier this week.

"I think everybody has equal rights, but I’m not sure that anybody should have extra rights," Carson told Mr. Ramos. "Extra rights when it comes to redefining everything for everybody else and imposing your view on everybody else."

The is hardly Carson's first anti-LGBT statement. He is openly opposed to same-sex marriage and said that being gay is "absolutely" a choice, "because a lot of people who go into prison go to prison straight and when they come out they're gay." The next day, he issued an apology, and recently stated that he doesn’t "have anything against the gay community."

Donald Trump, Carson’s toughest competitor in GOP polls, voices mixed messages when it comes to LGBT rights. Though he too opposes same-sex marriage, HRC says he has been "relatively consistent" in supporting anti-discrimination measures. Mr. Trump has, in the past, suggested that the Civil Rights Act be amended to include protection against sexual orientation-based discrimination.

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On the other side of the spectrum, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has supported the Equality Act, which seeks "to protect LGBT people nationwide from discrimination in credit, education, employment, housing, federal financial assistance, jury service and public accommodations." She has also voiced support for same-sex marriage.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has also publicly supported LGBT rights, including using social media to condemn discriminatory policies:


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