Clay Aiken: Gay marriage opposition will be remembered like interracial marriage objections

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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“American Idol” finalist Clay Aiken said Sunday that future generations will view opposition to gay marriage in the same way most Americans today view early objections to interracial marriages.

Aiken made the comment during a very unique panel lineup on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that also included Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Daily Beast columnist Mark McKinnon and Freedom to Marry chair Evan Wolfson. The panel took on the issue of same-sex marriage in the wake of President Barack Obama’s announcement that he personally supports the practice.

Aiken noted that ever since he was an “American Idol” finalist in 2003 he has seen Americans change their opinion on the issue of gay marriage.

“I think today it’s even less conservative … in the country music world than was in 2003, when I was on Idol,” Aiken said.

“It hasn’t really had much of an impact at all, in a negative sense. It’s had more of a positive impact. I think, between the time of 2003 to today, we’ve seen — as we’ve seen with gay marriage polling — we’ve seen minds changing. We’ve seen people becoming more open and understanding of homosexuality.”

Aiken then compared the obstacles same-sex marriage legalization proponents face to those once confronted by divorcees and those in interracial relationships.

“When my mother married my stepfather, she went to a church, a Baptist church, and since she had been divorced, they wouldn’t let her get married there,” he said.

“So churches … are able to decide who gets married at a church. And regardless — obviously you’ve got people who make the argument that interracial relationships back in the seventies, people made the same arguments against interracial relationships, as they’re making against same-sex marriages today. So, I feel, I really strongly believe that in the next 20 years, we’re going to look back on this and be sort of ashamed of the fact that we were against this, just as we’re ashamed today that we didn’t let people of different races get married.”

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