Homosexual singer Clay Aiken is lending his support to a gay rights rally in North Carolina by delivering a speech at the event this weekend (27-28Feb10).
The former American Idol star, who came out as gay in 2008, will join activists at the Human Rights Campaign Carolinas gala in his hometown of Raleigh.
But Aiken has snubbed the pre-prepared speech written for him by protest organisers because it took aim at former U.S. president George W. Bush.
Instead, the singer has come up with his own words to deliver at Saturday's (27Feb10) rally.
He says, "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. My goal is to be hopeful, that it's time for everyone to have equal rights."
Lesbian actress Meredith Baxter, who previously starred on U.S. TV show Family Ties, will also make an appearance at the event. She declared her sexuality in a magazine expose last year (09).