Joe Biden On Ben Carson Saying Prison Turns Straight People Gay: 'I Mean, Jesus'

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden on Friday hailed the progress of gay rights and said advocates need look no further than the "universal ridicule" of potential GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, who recently suggested that prison makes straight people turn gay.

Speaking at a Human Rights Campaign event, Biden said it's telling that even other Republicans have been distancing themselves from Carson this week after he declared that being gay is a choice because "a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and when they come out, they're gay." Just a few years ago, Biden said, Republicans wouldn't have expressed any problem with such claims.

"Look what's happened in the other party today. Seriously. Now every ridiculous assertion, from Dr. Carson on. I mean, Jesus. God," Biden said. "Oh God. It's kind of hard to fathom, isn't it?"

Carson has since apologized for his comments.

During his remarks, Biden also brought up that 2012 appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" when he declared his support for same-sex marriage -- putting himself a step ahead of President Barack Obama, who was still "evolving" on the issue. A week later, the president said he supported it, too.

"That may be very popular here," Biden said of his remarks that day, to cheers. "I told the president I wasn't going to change my brand."

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