POLITICS
10/28/2015 10:01 pm ET Updated Oct 28, 2015

Ben Carson: Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Doesn't Make Me Homophobic

"This is how they frighten people and get people to shut up."

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he thinks marriage should be between one man and one woman, but that doesn't make him a homophobe. In fact, he said, it's the people who criticize opponents of same-sex marriage who are the real problem.

"There is no reason that you can't be perfectly fair to the gay community" if you're opposed to marriage equality, Carson said during Wednesday's GOP debate. "This is one of the myths that the left perpetuates on our society. This is how they frighten people and get people to shut up."

Carson said American culture has become too politically correct, and people who accuse others of being homophobic on the same-sex marriage issue are "destroying the nation."

Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

"The fact of the matter is, we the American people are not each other's enemies," he said. "It's those people who are trying to divide us who are the enemies."

Carson has previously said prison makes people gay, compared same-sex marriage to bestiality, joked that Christian bakers might poison cakes for gay people and said Congress should remove judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who was texting supporters throughout the GOP debate, responded to Carson's claims.

"Discrimination against the LGBT community is not a myth," she texted. "It's a reality for too many Americans and it's wrong."

For the latest updates on tonight's debate, visit our liveblog.

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