An Alabama lawmaker is introducing a resolution next month in support of suspended "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson, insisting the reality star's family values are shared by most people in the state.
Republican state Sen. Jerry Fielding told CNN
Friday that, despite the uproar over the remarks of the Louisiana family patriarch about homosexuality, those views are "supported by the biblical scriptures."
"For too long, the silent majority has remained silent when we ought to be speaking up," Fielding told CNN, noting an individual's constitutional right of free speech.
The A&E cable television network suspended Robertson after he told GQ magazine
in its January edition that homosexuality is a sin, placing it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity.
The remarks enraged gay rights activists,
but Robertson's suspension also triggered outrage from his supporters.
“Phil Robertson’s family values are shared by the vast majority of Alabamians, who are rightfully concerned by the vitriol aimed at his Christian stance,” Fielding told The Daily Home,
which first reported the planned legislative action.
On Friday, Fielding told CNN's "Newsroom" he didn't agree with everything Robertson said, but would speak up for "religious rights provided by the Constitution."
He insisted in another interview with a Birmingham television station that the resolution wasn't anti-gay.
"We just don't want people running over people that believe in the Bible and standing up for Jesus and God and doing those things the Scriptures teaches us to do," Fielding told WBRC.
Alabama state Rep. Patricia Todd, the only openly gay lawmaker in the Alabama state legislature, also agreed that Robertson has a right to speak his mind on his religious belief, even as she felt the resolution was not "one of the most important things facing Alabama that we need to be taking time to even discuss in the legislature."
"Yes, I've watched 'Duck Dynasty'," she told WBRC. "I thought it was quite amusing. I liked it. I still will continue to watch it. [For] most of us, it was like no big deal. Who cares? Yes, of course he thinks that.”
Fielding, in remarks to The Daily Home, blasted A&E, saying the network “bowed to pressures from liberal groups rather than respecting Robertson’s biblically correct views.”
“There’s a clear double standard in the media favoring a liberal worldview," he said.
"When it’s used to silence and punish Christians for stating their beliefs, that’s when we must defend the rights of individuals to exercise their free speech without fear of politically-motivated repercussion. I join thousands across Alabama and our country by standing with Phil Robertson, and urge A&E to reverse their action against him.”
The Alabama Legislature convenes Jan. 14.
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