Pop singer Clay Aiken speaks with The News & Observer about his upcoming appearance at the Human Rights Campaign Carolinas Gala in Raleigh:
Clay Aiken will take the stage at the convention center Saturday night to do something he has never done before: deliver a speech about gay rights.But don’t expect him to pound his fist and scream for the right to get married.
“There are people who are loud and make noise, and there are people who are deliberate and slow and steady,” Aiken said during an interview this week at a downtown coffee shop. “Right now, at this point in my life, I feel like a slow and steady person.”
And, Aiken believes full equality doesn’t necessarily come in the form of “marriage”…
HRC provided a speechwriter to help Aiken, 31, with his remarks, but he decided to write his own. The original speech was too political, Aiken said, and included a slam aimed at George W. Bush.
“I don’t feel like this is the place to be horribly politically charged and bash people and talk about the wrongs that have been done,” he said. “My goal is to be hopeful, that it’s time for everyone to have equal rights.”
For Aiken, that means inheritance rights and hospital-visitation rights and all the other rights that heterosexual couples take for granted, including the right to be married.
But, he said, “I’m not going to be the person who says it has to be marriage or nothing else.”
The most basic need, he said, is that everyone have the same rights. He believes it will happen, although it could take decades.