The A&E cable network, which suspended "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson, has compromised its values by vehemently insisting it supports gays while ignoring other groups, says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
"A&E … actually advertised on its website that they are proud defenders of LGBT. They didn't say they were proud defenders of Catholics or Jews or blacks or anybody, they chose the gay community," Donohue told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Now they have a right to do that, but they've compromised themselves from the beginning."
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Robertson, a born-again Christian, was suspended from the top-rated reality show about a family in the duck business because of controversial comments he made about gays to GQ magazine.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men," Robertson, 67, told the magazine.
He then paraphrased from the New Testament: "Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won't inherit the kingdom of God."
"Phil Robertson believes the biblical passages about homosexuality and adultery [and] they fired him," said Donohue, whose group is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization.
"Those comments are printed in GQ. I don't think of a single example where anybody on the right has tried to silence people like that for views that they hold and didn't even express on the air."
"So you're not even allowed to hold privately-held beliefs, particularly religious beliefs, and that's really what's driving this."
Donohue said he reviewed Robertson's statements in GQ, and "if he's anti-gay, then he's anti-straight and I guess the Bible is anti-gay and anti-straight, because what he's saying, he linked in fact people sleeping around, adultery and the like, with homosexuality.
"Now people can disagree with that but that's not hate speech. There's a difference between intentionally trying to use vile and obscene language to insult people and to express a particular point of view. But this is where we've come to in our society today."
Donohue criticized what he called "an element in the radical gay community" for helping fuel the controversy.
"I refer to these people as cultural fascists. Not just gays, but those who are straight and who are trying to stop nativity scenes from being put up on public property and the like," he said.
"They really want to turn the clock back to a point where the state will be in charge of everything. They don't believe in freedom of speech."
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