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Jay-Z, Jesse Jackson Support Gay Marriage, Obama (PHOTOS)

Posted: Updated: 05/15/2012 4:14 pm

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Since President Barack Obama made his historic announcement last week in support of legalizing same-sex marriage, some black celebrities have drawn parallels between the gay rights struggle and the civil rights movement.

On May 14th, hip-hop mogul, Jay-Z spoke candidly during an exclusive interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow about the president’s statement.

"I've always thought of it as something that is holding the country back,” he said. “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. It's no different than discriminating against blacks.”

The rapper’s thoughts on the heated debate also carried over to civil rights leader, Rev. Jesse Jackson who expressed to the Los Angeles Times that African-Americans would have been on the losing end of the vote if states had the choice to vote on slavery. Jackson went on to say that laws shouldn’t prohibit a citizen to live a certain lifestyle.

"This is a bold step in the right direction for equal protection under the law for all citizens…You may choose your mate, but you cannot deny someone else the right to choose their mate," he said. "The law protects you from being abused. It doesn't threaten your lifestyle for someone else to have the right to exhibit their lifestyle."

Check out what other celebrities had to say in the gallery below.

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  • Jay-Z

    "I've always thought of it as something that is holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination plain and simple. I think it's the right thing to do. Whether it cost him votes or not, again it's really not about votes, it's about people. Whether it cost him votes or not, I think it's the right thing to do as a human being." (<a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/14/jay-z-still-has-obamas-back/" target="_hplink">CNN</a>)

  • Al Sharpton

    "I salute President Obama's statement today supporting same-sex marriage. This is an important and historic development for a sitting President to take such a bold, and I feel correct, position. This is not about mine or anyone's personal or religious views. It is about equal rights for all." (<a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2012-05-09/politics/politics_obama-same-sex-reactions_1_marriage-equality-gay-marriage-marriage-stance?_s=PM:POLITICS" target="_hplink">CNN</a>)

  • Janet Jackson

    "He finally came around, didn't he? He finally came around, good for him." (<a href="http://www.extratv.com/2012/05/11/janet-jackson-reveals-her-slim-down-secret/" target="_hplink">Extra TV</a>)

  • Tyra Banks

    "A fierce day for my gays and my prez @BarackObama - way 2 stand up 4 luv for ALL!" (<a href="https://twitter.com/#!/tyrabanks" target="_hplink">Twitter</a>)

  • Cory Booker

    "Giambusso from The Ledger asked me 4 a statement re: Obama & marriage equality. I told him I'd give him one as soon as I stopped dancing." (<a href="https://twitter.com/#!/CoryBooker" target="_hplink">Twitter</a>)

  • Russell Simmons

    "Thank you Mr. President for your support of gay marriage..." (<a href="https://twitter.com/#!/unclerush" target="_hplink">Twitter</a>)

  • Will Smith

    "If anybody can find someone to love them and to help them through this difficult thing that we call life, I support that in any shape or form." (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/will-smith-supports-barack-obama-gay-marriage_n_1514957.html" target="_hplink">Huffington Post</a>)

  • Janelle Monae

    "Thank you President Obama! Equal/Civil Rights for us all." (<a href="https://twitter.com/?tw_e=screenname&tw_i=200350411562024961&tw_p=tweetembed#!/JanelleMonae" target="_hplink">Twitter</a>)

  • John Legend

    "Very pleased the President spoke up for human rights and marriage equality today." (<a href="https://twitter.com/?tw_e=screenname&tw_i=200342314453975040&tw_p=tweetembed#!/johnlegend" target="_hplink">Twitter</a>)

  • Alicia Keys

    "Honestly, it's about time! This is great news! @BarackObama!! "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married." (<a href="https://twitter.com/?tw_e=screenname&tw_i=200337641361780736&tw_p=tweetembed#!/aliciakeys" target="_hplink">Twitter</a>)

  • Rev. Jesse Jackson

    "This is a bold step in the right direction for equal protection under the law for all citizens." (<a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-jesse-jackson-gay-marriage-20120510,0,4383818.story?track=rss" target="_hplink">The Los Angeles Times</a>)

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Filed by Brennan Williams  |