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Gay Civil Rights Quotes


"I've always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy. The civil rights movement thrives on unity and inclusion, not division and exclusion. My husband's struggle parallels that of the gay rights movement." - Coretta Scott King

"In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights." - James Madison

"Like being a woman, like being a racial religious tribal or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights." - Hillary Clinton

"Because of the Civil Rights movement, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody ... Not just for blacks and whites, but also women and Latinos; and Asians and Native Americans; and gay Americans and Americans with a disability. They swung open for you, and they swung open for me. And that's why I'm standing here today-because of those efforts, because of that legacy." - Barack Obama

"There is no contradiction between effective law enforcement and respect for civil and human rights." - Dorothy Height

"You cannot demand your rights, civil or otherwise, if you are unwilling to say what you are." - Merle Miller

"[Button] If Gay and Lesbian people are given civil rights, soon everyone will want them" - James Howe

"If gay and lesbian people are given civil rights, then everyone will want them!" - Anonymous

"Obama's endorsement of gay marriage is hardly as consequential as Johnson's legislative success on civil rights." - Robert Dallek

"Every advance in this half-century-Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education, one after another-came with the support and leadership of American Labor." - Jimmy Carter

"We have to put a stop to the idea that it is a part of everybody's civil rights to say whatever he pleases." - Adolf Hitler

"In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects." - Alexander Hamilton

"The civil rights of none, shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext infringed." - James Madison

"I think there are profound differences between the civil rights struggle for African Americans and the civil rights struggle for gay Americans." - Christopher Rice

"This moon man right here stands for a lot more. This is the most important record out of all of them. Gay rights are human rights, there is no separation." - Macklemore

"Marriage is a civil right. If you don't want gay people to marry in your church, good for you. But you can't say they can't marry in your city." - Julian Bond

"Gay rights are human rights." - Hillary Clinton

"For the gay establishment, the death of right and wrong began when gaining civil rights ceased to be enough." - Tammy Bruce

"We've made so many advances in other areas - civil rights, gay rights - but ageism is still an area that's taboo and not talked about and dealt with." - Madonna Ciccone

"We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever." - Susan B Anthony

"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and in-grafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man." - Thomas Jefferson

"Lovers of freedom, lovers of social justice, disarmers, peacekeepers, civil disobeyers, democrats, civil-rights activists, and defenders of the environment are legions in a single multiform cause, and they will gain strength by knowing it, taking encouragement from it, and when appropriate and opportune, pooling their efforts." - Jonathan Schell

"He (son Jason) doesn't see me as a (gay) icon, he sees me as his mother who touches his hair too much. No, I love being an icon to anybody. Equal rights, you know?" - Barbra Streisand

"The common goal of 22 million Afro-Americans is respect as human beings, the God-given right to be a human being. Our common goal is to obtain the human rights America has been denying us. We can never get civil rights in America until our human rights are first restored. We will never be recognized as citizens there until we are first recognized as humans." - Malcolm X

"Discrimination is discrimination no matter who the victim is, and it is always wrong. There are no special rights in America, despite the attempts by many to divide blacks and the gay community with the argument that the latter are seeking some imaginary special rights at the expense of blacks." - Julian Bond

"Gay rights to me that is the last civil right that we have not granted in America and I think it's an enormous embarrassment." - Jodi Picoult

"Gay rights is just a matter of time. Look at the polls. Worrying about gay marriage, let alone gay civil unions or gay employment rights, is a middle-age issue. Young people just can't see the problem. At worst, gays are going to win this one just by waiting until the opposition dies off." - Gail Collins

"The arc of American history almost inevitably moves toward freedom. Whether it's Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, the expansion of women's rights or, now, gay rights, I think there is an almost-inevitable march toward greater civil liberties." - James Mcgreevey

"The Democrats pretended to care about black people for about five minutes to help their electoral process, and then civil rights suddenly became abortion on demand, gay marriage, rights for the homeless, etc." - Ann Coulter

"I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships." - Elton John

"All of my life I've spent a lot of time with gay men - Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Dean, Rock Hudson - who are my colleagues, coworkers, confidantes, my closest friends, but I never thought of who they slept with! They were just the people I loved. I could never understand why they couldn't be afforded the same rights and protections as all of the rest of us. There is no gay agenda, it's a human agenda" - Elizabeth Taylor

"It was civil disobedience that won them their civil rights." - Tariq Ali

"We support President Truman's civil rights program." - Eugenie Anderson

"War diminishes both civil and economic rights." - P J Orourke

"You reached your level, you don't want any more. We asked ten years ago, we were askin' with the Panthers, we were askin' in the Civil Rights Movement. Now those who were askin' are all dead or in jail, wo what are we gonna do? And we shouldn't be angry!?" - Tupac Shakur

"[If you understood the natural rights of mankind,] [y]ou would be convinced that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator to the whole human race, and that civil liberty is founded in that, and cannot be wrested from any people without the most manifest violation of justice." - Alexander Hamilton

"As Dr. King said, an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It is that creed of the civil rights movement that still motivates us today...So today, we take up the cause of joining arms with our immigrant brothers and sisters in that spirit... to lend a hand to those who confront injustice as a result of a broken immigration system." - Steven Horsford

"Probably, the nature of homophobia will never be widely interrogated, while we will continue to be excluded from school curricula, subjected to vicious media distortions, or entirely ignored, denied basic civil rights while our demands are ridiculed and derided. But in the midst of all this only one thing has changed for certain. We have changed. We will never go back into the closet." - Sarah Schulman

"People don't think about the fact that when Barack Obama's parents had him it was illegal for them to be married in several states in this country. So if we start making it okay that certain people can marry and other people can't, it's a slippery slope of civil rights." - Kerry Washington

"For many years now, I have been an outspoken supporter of civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people. Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Ga. and St. Augustine, Fla., and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions." - Coretta Scott King

"I'm a civil rights attorney. I'm a victim rights attorney." - Gloria Allred

"The fact that women are very young in obtaining their civil rights and African-Americans are young in obtaining their civil rights, I think it's about time that we extend that to all Americans, whether straight, gay, purple, green, black, brown." - Octavia Spencer

"I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone" - Sean Penn

"I'm pro-choice. I'm pro-gay rights." - Rudy Giuliani

"I'm not a gay rights activist." - Asap Rocky

"Gay rights and human rights and the same." - Hillary Clinton

"Gay rights are human rights, there is no separation." - Macklemore

"A lot of people criticized me for speaking out, not long ago, about gay marriage. I could not remain silent any longer. It's the civil rights of our day. It's the issue of our day." - Joe Biden

"On the court, Jason Collins is not a huge basketball star, but he has already claimed his place in civil rights history as the first openly gay athlete to play in one of the four major U.S. sports leagues." - Nancy Gibbs

"The successes of the LGBT civil rights movement and the more prominent role openly gay people are playing in the public eye has actually turned up the temperature in middle schools and high schools for queer kids." - Dan Savage

"My image had always been very heterosexual, very straight. So it was a nice experience for me, a chance to clarify my own feelings about gay and lesbian civil rights." - Bruce Springsteen

"The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. We're Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else. That is a compelling argument. And to deny that, you've got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn't been able to do anything but thump the Bible ... I support civil unions, I always have. All right, the gay marriage thing, I don't feel that strongly about it one way or the other." - Bill O'Reilly

"I spent my entire career trying to protect the Constitution, the civil rights and the civil liberties of American citizens and people who are here lawfully. I, as chair of this commission, would not be a party to any system that I felt was an unpardonable intrusion into the private lives of people. If I felt that what we are recommending would be such an intrusion I can assure you that recommendation would never have seen the light of day, not even as a pilot program." - Barbara Jordan

"I've gone beyond civil rights and human rights to creation rights." - Eldridge Cleaver

"Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny." - James Monroe

"We have a ways to go here, but elections have consequences ... I think that our Republican colleagues, the Republican National Party, understands this is our new demographic in America as a result of the election. I think they understand if they want to be a national party, they're going to have to deal with this issue. For Latinos and other immigrants, this is the civil rights issue of our time." - Bob Menendez

"Public education is the key civil rights issue of the 21st century. Our nation's knowledge-based economy demands that we provide young people from all backgrounds and circumstances with the education and skills necessary to become knowledge workers. If we don't, we run the risk of creating an even larger gap between the middle class and the poor. This gap threatens our democracy, our society and the economic future of America." - Eli Broad

"I can't turn around without hearing about some 'civil rights advance'! White people seem to think the black ought to be shouting 'hallelujah'! Four hundred years the white man has had his foot-long knife in the black man's back - and now the white man starts to wiggle the knife out, maybe six inches! The black man's supposed to be grateful? Why, if the white man jerked the knife out, it's still going to leave a scar!" - Malcolm X

"Of course, I have a different vested interest in the gay community, because I am gay, and I would certainly enjoy the tax advantages that straight people have, and the inheritance advantages, and things like Social Security, but I've always been a civil rights advocate across the board. That's how I was raised." - Janis Ian

"Here's why I cannot vote for Rudy Giuliani. He's pro-abortion. He's never repudiated gay marriage in New York City or at least the civil unions in New York City. He's called a champion of gay rights. Rudy is opposed to school choice. He's in favor of open borders." - James Dobson

"No Republican questions or disputes civil rights. I have never wavered in my support for civil rights or the civil rights act." - Rand Paul

"In less than a century we experienced great movement. The youth movement! The labor movement! The civil rights movement! The peace movement! The solidarity movement! The women's movement! The disability movement! The disarmament movement! The gay rights movement! The environmental movement! Movement! Transformation! Is there any reason to believe we are done?" - Holly Near

"Transgender discrimination is the civil rights issue of our time" - Joe Biden

"Education is the civil rights issue of our generation." - Arne Duncan

"Im a child of the Civil Rights Movement." - Danny Glover

"Filibuster has long tradition, but used to harm civil rights." - Barack Obama

"I don't think the riots derailed the civil rights movement." - Henry Louis Gates

"I'm a child of the Civil Rights Movement." - Danny Glover

"You can't put civil rights on the ballot." - Jesse Ventura

"Any kind of civil rights oppression is wrong." - Bryan Cranston

"The civil rights movement wasn't easy for anybody." - Sammy Davis Jr

"Women have to risk civil disobedience for their rights." - Sonia Johnson

"The civil rights movement wasn't easy for anybody." - Sammy Davis, Jr.

"It was the Democrats who were against civil rights legislation" - Allen West

"Even here in America, people are fighting for civil rights 45 years after the civil rights movement." - Ruben Santiagohudson

"We've talked more about civil rights after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than we talked about it before 1964." - Clarence Thomas

"I go all around London advocating lesbian and gay rights." - Ken Livingstone

"Civil liberty is only natural liberty, modified and secured by the sanctions of civil society." - Alexander Hamilton

"Gay marriage will destroy the family" - Pope Francis

"Gay adoption is discrimination against children" - Pope Francis

"I'm for all kinds of gay rights. I'm almost like a gay man myself." - Nene Leakes

"The rights of women are to the 21st century what civil rights were to the 20th." - Tina Brown

"Management has no divine rights." - Walter Reuther

"There's nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn't recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht." - Frank Rich

"There's nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it does' recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht." - Frank Rich

"It's just in Washington we're talking about equal rights for gay people, civil liberty to smoke marijuana, taking care of the environment, and it's all just decency and common sense and patriotism. And in other parts of the country that would be, like, inconceivable." - Rick Steves

"First of all, [St. Stephen's] is a radical church. It was one of the first DC churches to have gay ceremonies. A woman said mass there, which almost got a priest excommunicated there; Black Panthers spoke at the church; it was a sanctuary for civil rights protesters and anti-war protesters." - Ian Mackaye

"Are you kidding me? It's insane that civil rights are being denied people in this day and age. It's embarrassing, and it's heartbreaking. It goes without saying that I'm completely in support of gay marriage. In 10 years we'll be ashamed that this was an issue." - Chris Evans

"The trouble is, SMers are allowing themselves to be defined by what they are not. We think, "Oh, so many people believe that we're all murderers and rapists, and we have to explain that we're not!" Uh so, a slogan for the gay civil rights movement should be "Normal, Non-threatening and Not After Your Children"?" - Laura Antoniou

"There are still civil rights issues. There are still people who can't be visited by their spouse in the hospital because they're gay. These are humanitarian issues. At the end of the day, all you want is for people to be happy in the pursuit of life, love and liberty." - Brandi Carlile

"Gay marriage will be universally accepted in time. But if I may be so bold as to say to gays and lesbians, don't wait for that time to arrive. Just as my father and his generation did not 'wait' for their civil rights, nor should you. The toothpaste ain't going back in the tube. The tide has turned." - John Ridley

"Civil rights for all Americans, black, white, red, yellow, the rich, poor, young, old, gay, straight, et cetera, is not a liberal or a conservative value. It's an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on." - Jerry Falwell

"I know nothing of man's rights, or woman's rights; human rights are all that I recognize." - Sarah Moore Grimke

"Gay Marriage isn't Special Rights, it's Equal Rights. 'Special Rights' are for political churches that don't pay taxes." - John Fugelsang

"Any of us who work on the task of solving the climate crisis have at times an internal struggle between hope and despair. But that's one of the things that connects this climate movement to the previous great moral revolutions, like the civil rights movement and more recently the gay rights movement. So those who feel despair should be of good cheer, as the Bible says. Have faith, have hope. We are going to win this." - Al Gore

"In the gay world, [relationships] will always be open. There is no curbing the gay man." - Patti Stanger

"Old or young, healthy as a horse or a person with a disability that hasn't kept you down, man or woman, Native American, native born, immigrant, straight or gay - whatever; the test ought to be I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. I believe in religious liberty. I believe in freedom of speech. I believe in working hard and playing by the rules. I'm showing up for work tomorrow. I'm building that bridge to the 21st century. That ought to be the test." - William J Clinton

"Civil rights are civil rights. There are no persons who are not entitled to their civil rights. We have to recognize that we have a long way to go, but we have to go that way together." - Dorothy Height

"Civil marriage, like all civil rights provided by the government, must be provided equally to all Americans." - Benjamin Jealous

"Civil marriage, like all civil rights provided by the government, must be provided equally to all Americans." - Benjamin Todd Jealous

"My life is about being a civil rights activist. That's my life. Whoever you are, everyone, we either have civil rights or we don't. It's for everyone." - Pauley Perrette

"When you're fighting for civil rights, it's sometimes two steps forward and one step back. Civil rights are an evolution; and you have to bring people along." - Gloria Allred

"As a civil rights leader, Mrs. King's vision of racial peace and nonviolent social change was a fortifying staple in advancing the civil rights movement." - James T Walsh

"I do not believe that defending traditional marriage between one man and one woman excludes anybody or usurps anybody's civil rights and denies anybody their civil rights." - Alan Autry

"My parents both were doing the Civil Rights Movement, were very involved with the civil rights to Congress. And my friends' parents were as well." - Janis Ian

"In the view of some people, you can only believe in civil rights if you work as a civil rights lawyer. I just don't buy that." - Deval Patrick

"I'm passionate about gay rights, but I think we need admit that there are some gay wrongs as well." - Dov Davidoff

"Putting measures like gay marriage on ballots for elections only hurts the gay rights cause and elects more conservative politicians." - Roseanne Barr

"Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them." - Mary Frances Berry

"Too often, advances in civil rights or women's rights are undermined by wrong-headed legislation or weak-kneed political leadership." - Mike Quigley

"They don't have special rights because we have civil rights laws that protect them. The laws work both ways." - Tom Allen

"I don't call myself a white supremacist. I'm a civil rights activist concerned about European-American rights." - David Duke

"Protecting the rights of service members was an important part of my work as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights." - Thomas Perez

"What gets lost is that the Republican Party has always been the party of civil rights and voting rights." - Rand Paul

"Fundamentalists tell us to fear the specter of special rights for gay citizens, though of course gay Americans aren't after special rights - merely equal rights. The irony is that special rights actually do exist in this country-for religious groups." - Sean Faircloth

"This is the gay agenda: equality. Not special rights, but the rights that are already written by [our Founding Fathers]." - Lz Granderson

"The gay marriage thing to me, I don't understand why it's so important for the secular progressives in this country, the people who want to change America fundamentally and every way, why this is the lead issue. The L.A. Times, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe. These people are going, 'Oh, my God, what are you doing? How can you not see the civil rights aspect of this?'" - Bill O'Reilly

"It is long past time to eliminate bigotry in the workplace and to ensure equal opportunity for all Americans. It is time to make clear that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans are first class citizens. They are full and welcome members of our American family and they deserve the same civil rights protections as all other Americans. It is time for us to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Such discrimination is wrong and should not be tolerated." - Tom Harkin

"Until civil rights are enjoyed by all of us, we're simply not civilized." - Rupert Friend

"Justice is indivisible. You can't decide who gets civil rights and who doesn't." - Angela Davis

"Our involvement in the civil rights movement is what sent us into our involvement against apartheid." - Mary Jane Patterson

"Friendship has no civil, and few emotional, rights in our society." - Christina Baldwin

"....we ain't doing civil rights here. We just telling stories like they really happen." - Kathryn Stockett

"This is Not Another Revolution. This is a Civil Rights Movement" - Hamid Dabashi

"I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964." - Ronald Reagan

"Children's liberation is the next item on our civil rights shopping list." - Letty Cottin Pogrebin

"When I hear someone's in the civil rights business, I oil up my AR-25." - Michael Savage

"... being a feminist means that you believe in civil rights and social justice." - Janeane Garofalo

"Education is the single-most important civil rights issue that we face today." - Michelle Obama

"When I hear someone's in the civil rights business, I oil up my AR-25." - Michael Savage

"When I went to law school, nobody heard of civil rights." - Constance Baker Motley

"I am not, in fact, a superhero. Just a humble, mild-mannered civil rights attorney." - Van Jones

"In cultural history, the civil rights movement came before the women's movement." - Marisa Tomei

"Students for a Democratic Society was also affiliated with the civil rights movement everywhere." - Bill Ayers

"[A.J. Muste] was very influenced - in - influential in the peace movement, in the civil rights movement." - Nat Hentoff

"You are losing because blacks are getting their civil rights in the cities." - David Remnick

"It's a misconception to believe that the resistance ended with the civil rights movement." - Danny Glover

"President [Barack] Obama is a man who had certain advantages because of the civil rights movement." - Danny Glover

"If I have my civil rights then this message wouldn't have happen." - Jared Lee Loughner

"I think that civil rights issues take a lot of time to develop." - Macklemore

"The unsung heroes of the civil rights movement were always the wives and the mothers." - Andrew Young

"Few whites are ready to actively promote civil rights for blacks." - Derrick Bell

"For a black male, the sound of the blues is pre-Civil Rights. It's oppression." - Gary Clark Jr

"I believe public education is the new civil rights battle and I support charter schools." - Andrew Cuomo

"For me, jazz will always be the soundtrack of the civil rights movement." - Henry Rollins

"My earliest memories are of the civil rights era. My earliest experiences were rage." - Janine Di Giovanni

"I got interested in politics during the civil rights movement and then Vietnam." - Al Franken

"Marriage is sacred and protected and has nothing to do with violating our civil rights." - Jack Kingston

"I was born after the Civil Rights Movement. I never saw Martin Luther King alive." - Cory Booker

"During the 60's, I was, in fact, very concerned about the civil rights movement." - Joe Biden



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