Queer Voices

CNN Panel Tackles Gay Vs. Civil Rights Debate

Are gay rights the same as civil rights?

That's the question that was posed at a Feb. 21 CNN panel moderated by anchor Carol Costello and composed of journalists and activists such as L.Z. Granderson, Amy Kremer and Roland Martin, reports Mediaite.

“Absolutely," Granderson replied, taking the lead. “I think that people sometimes get it confused. I don’t think that it’s equal to the civil rights movement. I think they’re different movements."

Discussing how civil rights are international, Granderson continued, “Back in Britain, Catholics were fighting for their civil rights because they were discriminated against legally in Great Britain. So this notion of what is civil rights. It’s not U.S. and it’s not just tied to the civil rights movement, he concluded.

Meanwhile, CNN contributor Roland Martin referenced the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in his response.

“The question is wrong," he said. "It’s not a question, 'Is gay rights civil rights?' Is the gay rights movement the same as the black civil rights movement? That is the distinction. We had African Americans in Jim Crow who couldn’t vote, who couldn’t stay in hotels and couldn’t stay in restaurants, but if you were white and gay you could."

Martin, who was ridiculed by GLAAD for making homophobic remarks on Twitter during the 2012 Super Bowl, made the distinction that other movements stemmed from the civil rights act despite critical differences.

Earlier this year during President Barack Obama’s inaugural address, he rhetorically connected Selma to Stonewall, reigniting this heated conversation.

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