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    Clay Aiken on Phil Robertson's Anti-Gay Controversy: Society Still Accepts Homophobia

    Clay Aiken, Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty Getty Images, A&E

    Clay Aiken is weighing in on the anti-gay controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.

    The openly gay singer says Robertson's offensive comments likening homosexuality to bestiality are a sign of the progress that still needs to be made in society.

    "I think it certainly shows that we've got a long way to go when it comes to people being accepting and understanding," Aiken said while appearing on Arsenio yesterday. "Homophobia, racism, all of it's built out of fear, and if you grow up in an area like Louisiana and you're not exposed to diversity, then you can be afraid of things."

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    "I think the thing that frustrates me the most is there have been people who have come out today and said, 'It's free speech. It's free speech,'" Aiken, 35, told Arensio Hall. "I would ask them if the person had said something about interracial marriage, or said, 'We need to put all children with disabilities in institutions,' would we still be saying, ‘Well, that's free speech, we're OK with that opinion'? And I think the answer is 'No.'"

    "There are certain things in society that we have become universally against: racism, obviously, is wrong," he continued. "The treatment of people with disabilities is wrong. But homophobia is one thing that we are still a little bit accepting of in certain areas."

    "I think it's progress, we'll get there," the American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice runner-up added. "But times have changed enough and perceptions have changed enough in the time that I've even been in the public eye, that I think we've made a lot of progress."

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    Robertson's anti-gay comments hit the web earlier this week, prompting A&E to swiftly suspend him from filming Duck Dynasty. As fallout from the homophobic controversy continues, several stars, including Robertson's family and Bristol Palin, have spoken out in support of Robertson's conservative views.

    And earlier today, a source told E! News that the whole Robertson family is "very serious" about potentially leaving their hit reality show. "They're an extremely tight-knit family and they're not going to let this get in the way," a source connected to the family explains. "[Phil] is the reason for their success—they're not going to abandon him. They're also not about to let anyone threaten their religious beliefs."

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