CNN Panel Asks: Are Gay Rights Civil Rights?

How would you answer the question: Are gay rights civil rights?

BY Lucas Grindley

February 21 2013 3:51 PM ET

After President Obama drew a rhetorical line connecting Selma to Stonewall in his inauguration speech, the question of whether gay rights are equivalent to the civil rights movement has resurfaced.

A CNN panel took on the question, with one panelist quick to say that yes gay rights are civil rights.

Contributor Roland Martin was suspended in the past for making comments via Twitter that were interpreted as homophobic, and he later apologized. When asked whether gay rights are civil rights, he took issue with the question.

“The question is wrong,” Martin objected, according to video from Mediaite. “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.” For Martin, it's all civil rights, but all movements are not to be lumped together.

“A women’s movement, a disabilities movement, a gay movement, a black movement – those are different movements, but the umbrella actually comes under civil rights,” Martin concluded. "That's the distinction."

Watch a clip from the discussion below and share your answer in the comments.

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