Clay Aiken says he used to want to be governor of his home state of North Carolina.
But instead of going into politics, he became a star on American Idol and parlayed that success into a recording and stage career.
The openly gay singer, who is a single father, is using his fame to speak out against a ballot measure called Amendment One which will go before North Carolina's voters on May 8. It would ban domestic partnerships and non-marriage partner benefits for couples – gay or straight.
'Families look different, they always have looked different,' Aiken says in a video for Protect All NC Families. 'No matter what we might want a family to look like, we can't put into a constitution – a document that's supposed to protect our rights – one narrow definition.'
Aiken points out that the measure would take away protections from kids who, for example, might have access to health care right now through one of their parents but would stand to lose it if they have no legal connection to that parent.
'I think an amendment like this goes way too far,' Aiken says.
Aiken, 33, has released six studio albums, headlined nine concert tours and starred on Broadway in Monty Python's Spamalot. He came out publicly in 2008 a month after he announced the birth of his son whose mother is his friend, record producer Jaymes Foster.
He has since become more active in LGBT causes and spoken out against anti-gay bullying.
Despite his success in the entertainment field, Aiken says in the video that he remains most comfortable living in his home state.
'I love the state,' he said. 'I have lived outside North Carolina for three years in my entire life and I couldn't deal with it. I had to be back here.'