Julian Bond, chairman emeritus of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), has described gay marriage as a civil right.

When CNN host Anderson Cooper asked, “You see the push for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans as an extension of the civil rights movement?” Bond, a strong supporter of gay marriage, answered: “Very much so.”

“Of course. It is exactly the same. It's a right that all Americans have and no reason why gay and lesbian people ought not have these rights, too. These are universal rights,” Bond said.

To African-Americans who say they are offended by the comparison, Bond said: “We ought to be happy that other people, including gays and lesbians, and many other people have imitated the Black movement for human rights. … And when others imitate what we did to gain their rights we ought to be first in line to say, 'Can I help you? You helped me, can I help you?'”

Bond added that many gay people were involved in the Civil Rights movement. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)