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Are "animal rights" gay rights?

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There's been a brewing controversy in NYC over whether the city's horse-drawn carriages are cruel to the horses.  Animal rights advocates say they are, and they're now invoking the gay card.

From a letter by Martina Navratilova to NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, herself a lesbian - posted on Towleroad:

Many PETA advocates, including me, are gay. We share a heightened sense of responsibility in fighting the callous disregard that many have for animal suffering because we have experienced a similar disregard for the cruelty that we ourselves have faced. You are a champion of gay rights; won't you extend your compassion to the city's beleaguered working animals? These animals have been stripped of all their rights and have been denied the opportunity to fulfill their natural instincts. And for years, there have been accidents resulting in horse deaths and human injuries, the most recent occurring just last month when an SUV collided with a horse, which I hope you read about. That's why I urge you to support Intro. 86A, the bill seeking to replace the archaic horse-drawn carriages with eco-friendly classic cars. At the very least, won't you green-light the pilot program to test the viability of this savvy idea? It doesn't cost the city a cent or any jobs and is sure to be a hit with tourists. All eyes are on you to make the right move.
I'd have to know a lot more about the situation in NYC to opine on the validity of PETA's complaint. (I favor animal rights, but I don't see myself as a PETA person, which is odd, since I really love animals. I just feel like PETA has always come off as too extreme, in a way I can't relate too - and I have no problem, and rather embrace, in your face activism.)

What I do know a lot about is gay rights.

Is Navratilova right? Should our gay rights compassion naturally extend to animal rights?

To some degree, I'd argue yes. In the same way that I think anyone sensitive to gay rights should be more sensitive on the rights of other minorities, be they racial, religious, sexual or otherwise - and vice versa, I've often said that non-gay minorities should be the first to recognize the inherent rights of gays, precisely because they've faced the same discrimination.

So I don't really have a problem with seeing the animal rights movement as a related movement - it's all part of a larger category of... what's a greater category than "human" rights? But you get the picture.

What I don't agree with is the notion that therefore we agree with PETA on everything simply because we're gay. And this gets me back to my comment before. I just have never had a good feeling about PETA over the years. And I say that as someone who has always LOVED animals. And I have a hard time thinking that it's my problem - because I know in my heart how I feel about animals. I think the problem is theirs.

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