Clay Aiken equates gay marriage opposition with interracial marriage objections
"I think today it's even less conservative ... in the country music world than was in 2003, when I was on 'Idol,'" says Aiken, who came out as a gay man in 2008. "It hasn't really had much of an impact at all, in a negative sense. It's had more of a positive impact. I think, between the time of 2003 to today, we've seen -- as we've seen with gay marriage polling -- we've seen minds changing. We've seen people becoming more open and understanding of homosexuality."
He also believes that residents in his home state of North Carolina will ultimately reject the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
"The polls in North Carolina show that over 60 percent of North Carolinians actually support some recognition for same-sex couples, be it civil unions or domestic partnerships," Aiken says.
Additionally, Aiken likens the fight for same-sex marriage legalization to that of interracial marriage.
"Back in the '70s, people made the same arguments against interracial relationships as they're making against same-sex marriages today," he says. "So, I feel, I really strongly believe that in the next 20 years we're going to look back on this and be sort of ashamed of the fact that we were against this, just as we're ashamed today that we didn't let people of different races get married."
Check out the panel's discussion below: