Dr. Ben Carson is withdrawing as this year’s commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University.
According to the Washington Post, in an e-mail to Paul Rothman, dean of Johns Hopkins Medical School, Carson wrote:
Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interests of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year. My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day. Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me.
Earlier this year Carson announced that he will be retiring as the head of Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery.