Julian Bond: Civil rights are not special rights

Posted on 17 Mar 2009 at 9:17am

Julian Bond, national chairman of the NAACP, spoke March 14 at HRC’s Los Angeles Gala Dinner. Here are a couple of highlight comments, and the YouTube video of the full speech is below:

“When someone asks me, ‘Are gay rights civil rights?’ my answer is always, ‘Of course, they are.’ Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives: the right to equal treatment before the law. These are the rights shared by everyone. There is no one in the United States who does not, or should not, enjoy or share in enjoying these rights. Gay and lesbian rights are not special rights in any way. It isn’t ‘special’ to be free from discrimination. It is an ordinary, universal entitlement of citizenship.”

And:

“Black people, of all people, should not oppose equality. And that is what gay marriage is. … No people of good will should oppose marriage equality.”

“Like race, our sexuality isn’t a preference. It is immutable; it is unchangeable. And the constitution protects us against prejudices and discrimination based on immutable differences.”

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