Potential 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson apologized Wednesday for saying homosexuality was a lifestyle choice.

“I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation,” Carson said on his Facebook page late Wednesday afternoon. “I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended.”

Carson said he supports rights and Constitutional protections for LGBT people plus the right for states to approve or deny gay marriage.

“I am not a politician and I answered a question without really thinking about it thoroughly. No excuses,” he said. “I deeply regret my statement and I promise you, on this journey, I may err again, but unlike politicians when I make an error I will take full responsibility and never hide or parse words.”

Carson has enjoyed relatively good positions in polls of early primary states. An NBC/Marist poll last month showed him winning support of 10 percent of South Carolina Republican primary voters. He placed fourth in last weekend’s straw poll of attendees at the CPAC conservative conference near Washington D.C.ben-carson (1)

Still, Carson seems unafraid of the outrage his remarks garner: He routinely promises not to bow to the “P.C. police” and told msnbc in an interview last month that “candor in the long run is one of the few things that can save our nation.”

But if Carson wants to be taken seriously in the realm of politics, he’ll have to start concerning himself with public opinion — something he seems to suddenly appreciate. “I am not a politician and I answered a question without really thinking about it thoroughly,” Wednesday’s apology continues. “No excuses. I deeply regret my statement and I promise you, on this journey, I may err again, but unlike politicians when I make an error I will take full responsibility and never hide or parse words.”

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