The controversy over
[Updated, 5:15 p.m. PST Dec. 27: The network channel said late Friday that it is reversing its decision to drop "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson from the show for his remarks about gays. In a statement, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back after discussions with the Robertson family and "numerous advocacy groups."]
A number of people defended Robertson, saying his remarks are constitutionally protected under his right to free speech, with many also arguing that his remarks on homosexuality simply reflect Bible teachings.
In a statement to the newspaper, The Daily Home, Alabama state Sen. Jerry Fielding (R-Sylacauga) said he plans to introduce a resolution next month praising Robertson as a hero.
"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 newspaper.
"There's a clear double standard in the media favoring a liberal worldview. 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 senator said.
Meanwhile, a petition to end Robertson's indefinite suspension reached its goal of 250,000 signatures on Friday, roughly one week after it was created, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Faith Driven Consumer's "IStandWithPhil" petition had 252,918 signatures as of early Friday morning.
The Christian advocacy group is demanding that A&E reinstate Robertson and that the network issue a formal apology to Robertson's family and his fans.