US presidential debate
Ben Carson Mike Blake/ Reuters

Donald Trump cabinet pick for housing and urban development secretary Dr Ben Carson has stated he doesn't believe gay people should get 'extra rights'.

The conservative Christian and retired neurosurgeon made his comments at his confirmation hearing, during which he was quizzed over protection for LGBT people in public housing.

"Of course, I would enforce all the laws of the land," Carson said in response to the question, posed by Democrat senator Sherrod Brown.

"Of course, I think all Americans should be protected by the law."

"What I have said before is I don't think anyone should get 'extra rights,'" he added.

Carson, who has previously argued against gay marriage, made a similar statement in 2014, The Hill reported, in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

He said at the time: "Of course gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, but they don't get extra rights," Carson said at the time. "They don't get to redefine marriage."

The former presidential hopeful has been a supporter of Trump's since dropping out of the race for the White House, with his endorsement of Trump giving the President-elect a boost at the time.

Comments such as Carson's, although unsurprising given similar previous statements, underline a common theme among Trump's cabinet picks – that the majority have taken a conservative stance on LGBT rights.

Jeff Sessions, nominated for attorney general, voted against the repeal of the military's 'don't ask don't tell policy', while education nominee Betsy DeVos' family has historically donated to anti-LGBT charities, and nominee for CIA director Mike Pompeo has commented he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.