Phil Robertson's hashtag is back on Twitter #IStandWithPhil. The social media forum has apologized for "accidentally" blocking the link for the website for Robertson's petition after his supporters expressed outrage and cried censorship.
Now that the Twitter link is once again up and running, Robertson advocates can easily access the website for the petition. The header for the site: PETITION TO THE A&E NETWORK DEMANDING THE IMMEDIATE REINSTATEMENT OF DUCK DYNASTY'S PHIL ROBERTSON - #ISTANDWITHPHIL. The goal of 250,000 signatures is currently just a few thousand short.
Here's a look at the petition's first few paragraphs:
Dear A&E Network,
I am writing to you regarding your network's intolerant, discriminatory, and punitive treatment of Mr. Phil Robertson, star of A&E's #1 hit show, Duck Dynasty.
Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family – a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole.
Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view, but the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility. A&E's position, which in your own words is “championing” the gay and lesbian community — which I believe you have the freedom to do — excludes the views of Faith Driven Consumers and effectively censors a legitimate viewpoint held by the majority of Americans.
— CitizenGO (@CitizenGO) December 26, 2013
— Renegade Cowboy (@Rene_gadeCowboy) December 26, 2013
Robertson was suspended from the uber-popular A&E reality program, "Duck Dynasty," after making anti-gay remarks in an interview with GQ magazine. “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.”
"Duck Dynasty" averages about 14 million viewers a week. It is the most watched reality cable show in the history of television and is a bonafide pop culture sensation and marketing machine. Its fans are obviously quite loyal to Phil Robertson, since his A&E suspension, supporters have flooded the internet.
Mr. Robertson's suspension has also brought up the boundaries of free speech. Even non-"Duck Dynasty" fans, like Sarah and Bristol Palin are coming out in his defense. The crux of their argument centers upon the idea that unpopular or "non-politically correct" speech should not be swept under the rug for fear of its potential consequences.
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