Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Thursday denounced the TV network A&E for suspending "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson for his comments about homosexuality.
Robertson was suspended this week after suggesting in a GQ profile that homosexuality could lead to other practices, including bestiality.
Jindal said Robertson should be entitled to his opinion, even if people disagree with it, and shouldn't be punished.
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana," Jindal said. "The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views."
Jindal continued: "In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."
Robertson was suspended after offering the following remarks:
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
“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,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “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. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
"Duck Dynasty," which features the Robertson family and their Louisiana duck call business, is the most popular reality show on cable television and is celebrated particularly by conservatives.
Robertson's son and the show's star, Willie Robertson, was considered a potential Republican candidate for a congressional special election earlier this year. He didn't run, but his family rallied around the eventual winner, now-Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.).
Phil Robertson released this statement on Wednesday:
"I myself am a product of the '60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."
Update 1:51 p.m.: Other conservatives are now weighing in as well, including the Family Research Council and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)
Here's Cruz's comment: "If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job. In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him, but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree."
Update 3:47 p.m.: The National Organization for Marriage has launched a petition demanding that A&E reinstate Robertson and apologize for suspending him.