December 27th, 2013
08:50 AM ET
7 months ago

Alabama lawmaker to propose legislation backing 'Duck Dynasty' star

Updated 12/27/2013 at 2:20pm ET

(CNN) - The controversial comments about homosexuality made by "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson have come up in conversations across the country in the past two weeks and may make its way to the Alabama state legislature next month.

Republican state Sen. Jerry Fielding plans to introduce a symbolic resolution in support of the Louisiana family's patriarch.

What Robertson said on homosexuality, Fielding told CNN Friday, is "supported by the biblical scriptures."

"For too long, the silent majority has remained silent when we ought to be speaking up" for what Fielding described as a Constitutional right to speak one's mind.

A&E suspended Robertson after he told GQ magazine in its January edition that homosexuality is a sin and put it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity. The network's actions came after gay rights groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, called on Robertson to step down.

The suspension ignited an uproar among those backing Robertson. An online petition against A&E, for example, surpassed its goal of gathering 250,000 signatures.

Palin, Cruz, Jindal: 'Duck Dynasty' star suspended over intolerance of politically correct

In an interview Friday with CNN's Brianna Keilar on "Newsroom," Fielding made sure to note that he didn't agree with everything Robertson said, particularly his comments about race and comparing homosexuality to bestiality.

Instead, Fielding said it's important to speak up for those exercising "religious rights provided by the Constitution."

The senator earlier told CNN affiliate WBRC that the resolution was not meant to portray anti-gay messages.

"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," he said.

Alabama state Rep. Patricia Todd, the only openly gay lawmaker in the Alabama state legislature, agreed Robertson has a right to express his religious beliefs, WBRC reported.

But the Democrat added, "it's not one of the most important things facing Alabama that we need to be taking time to even discuss in the legislature."

A fan of the show, she also said she wasn't surprised at all by his remarks.

"Yes, I've watched "Duck Dynasty." I thought it was quite amusing. I liked it. I still will continue to watch it," she said. "(For) most of us, it was like no big deal. Who cares? Yes, of course he thinks that.”

Todd told WBRC she expects Fielding's resolution to pass the state legislature.

– CNN's Ashley Killough and Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.


Filed under: Alabama • Gay rights
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. O'drama ya Mama

    Why cant people understand that his First Amendment rights were NOT violated? He was not arrested nor fined nor was he sued by anyone. A & E has the right to hire and fire who they want. I'm sure the Duck Dynasty star was simply stating his opinion but his opinion does not align with the network that hired him so they are choosing not to associate. When you are a public figure you are held to a higher standard. The same thing happened to the rapper Rick Ross who expressed himself in his music and was dropped from Reebok because they did not agree with the statements he made in is music. Yes, people found his statements offensive just like they found Duck Dynasty's comments offensive.

    December 27, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Alabama state Rep. Patricia Todd, the only openly gay lawmaker in the Alabama state legislature, agreed Robertson has a right to express his religious beliefs, WBRC reported.
    ----------------------------–
    Likewise, the A&E network has a right to act in the best interests of it's FREE enterprise. They do not need politicians telling htem what to do, which is exactly what the right wing seems determined to do. Politicians needs to stay out of it.

    December 27, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  3. Dead bear

    Wasting Alabama's time and money in support of a reality tv star, that's just great! I'm sure this fool will eventually ride a wave of support amongst the state's down-home country trash all the way to the governor's mansion.

    December 27, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    This is another good example of a stupid move by a politician in the Republican Tea Party. Keep it up, rebranding of the party's national brand may never happen.

    December 27, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    What was biblical about the Jim Crow south? What brand of Christians are these?

    December 27, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Could the lawmaker also introduce any meaningful legislation that would help Alabamians?

    December 27, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    The duck people? Shirley McClaine? Complaints of X-Mas packages not arriving on time?
    No, CNN.
    A thousand times NO.

    December 27, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Biblically speaking, what Mr. Robertson had to say is completely supported. I just think it's time that the overwhelming majority of people begin to speak up and speak out on these issues," Fielding said.
    ----------------------------–
    Nothing in The Bible supports what Mr. Phil said about blacks working and singing in the fields.

    Here's the deal folks. Mr. Phil has not had his free speech compromised. The right wing wants to make it all about Mr. Phil being persecuted because of his religious beliefs. They want the narrative to be "War on The Bible". The right wing wants to drown out the rest of the offensive remarks that Mr. Phil made, and make you forget about them.

    Mr. Phil has come out on the short end of the right wing's free enterprise schtick. That's too bad for him. It's unfortunate that the man didn't realize that he was not speaking as Mr. Phil, but that he was speaking to most people as Mr. Duck, of A&E fame. That was Mr. Phil's mistake. He didn't realize that Mr. Duck was being interviewed, not Mr. Phil. See ya'.

    December 27, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Lynda/Minnesota
    The duck people? Shirley McClaine? Complaints of X-Mas packages not arriving on time?
    No, CNN.
    A thousand times NO.
    -----------------------------------------
    They're becoming more like Fox and TMZ day after day.

    December 27, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. wendel

    no rights violated but just the kind of thing repos waste time and money on. really? Alabama and most southern states have poor healthcare low employment and education rates. So by all means let's focus on duck dynasty/

    December 27, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Dallas

    You've got to be kidding me! This can't be serious. Is this what the tea bag republicans have made the priorities for our country? Vote these useless politicians out as soon as humanly possible.

    December 27, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. tom l

    @Rudy
    "Nothing in The Bible supports what Mr. Phil said about blacks working and singing in the fields."

    =======

    Can you tell me why his talking about his experiences when he was younger is offensive. These were his experiences. Why would someone have a problem with him telling what he saw when he was younger? You guys on the left are just ridiculous and need to grow up and relax. Here's the deal: not everyone is going to like you or think highly of you. This is life. Stop worrying so much what other people think and relax.

    December 27, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. tom l

    And why was A&E airing a marathon of Duck Dynasty? Yesterday Lynda/Sniffit were complaining about Nikki Haley pandering. And this isn't pandering? My goodness. This is the definition of pandering.

    December 27, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "They're becoming more like Fox and TMZ day after day."
    ------------------------------
    I hate to say it. The fact that the article completely ignores the offensive remarks about blacks has not gone unnoticed. I do not understand how the author could omit, overlook, or otherwise ignore the racial remarks.

    December 27, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Anonymous

    And Sarah Palin never read the article. She hears the word "Bible" and hits the road running, speaking a language
    nobody understands.........does she actually read the Bible?

    December 27, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. rs

    om l
    @Rudy
    "Nothing in The Bible supports what Mr. Phil said about blacks working and singing in the fields."

    =======

    Can you tell me why his talking about his experiences when he was younger is offensive. These were his experiences. Why would someone have a problem with him telling what he saw when he was younger? You guys on the left are just ridiculous and need to grow up and relax. Here's the deal: not everyone is going to like you or think highly of you. This is life. Stop worrying so much what other people think and relax.
    _____________
    You guys on the Right are ridiculous. Had Mr. Robertson's hate speech cut the wrong way, you would have cried like Sarah Palin and demanded his head on a platter. What Mr. Robertson expounded was hate speech, he tried to justify it using the Bible, and his employer fired him for being stupid. That's their right- and you corporate sympathizers ought to understand that.

    December 27, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    tom l
    And why was A&E airing a marathon of Duck Dynasty? Yesterday Lynda/Sniffit were complaining about Nikki Haley pandering. And this isn't pandering? My goodness. This is the definition of pandering.
    ---------------

    Did you have a point that you were trying to make that I perhaps missed somewhere in your complaint against me?

    December 27, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. Anonymous

    This is what taxpayers are getting for their money?!!!! Fire this guy! He's wasting valuable time and resources.

    December 27, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Wow, Rudy made me laugh!

    "Mr Phil" and "Mr Duck"............too funny. Reminds of a joke I once heard..................

    December 27, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. MTATL67

    I was thinking about my state and the problems we have because of the state being a right to work state. ‘Right to work’ is part of the Republican national agenda. Then it hit me Louisiana is also a right to work red state. It is ironic and laughable that Republicans are upset and protesting their own agenda. I don’t agree with or like what this man said and I do not think that they should have suspended him. With that being said he does works in Louisiana which is a right to work red state and employers can fire or suspend their employees as they see fit. If Republicans don’t like it they maybe they should change their national agenda.

    December 27, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. tom l

    @Lynda
    "tom l
    And why was A&E airing a marathon of Duck Dynasty? Yesterday Lynda/Sniffit were complaining about Nikki Haley pandering. And this isn't pandering? My goodness. This is the definition of pandering.
    -----

    Did you have a point that you were trying to make that I perhaps missed somewhere in your complaint against me?"

    ====

    I really do like you Lynda. I enjoy reading your comments (even though I disagree with most of them). :) I was just pointing out the liberals yesterday were so wrapped up in Nikki Haley pandering that I would think you would notice pandering of all forms and be consistent. However, I recognize that there is a difference as one is a private company and the other is just a politician. Maybe I was a little Rudyesque here with a comment that probably wasn't very relevant. :) Hope you had a nice Christmas

    December 27, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. rs

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    Lynda/Minnesota
    The duck people? Shirley McClaine? Complaints of X-Mas packages not arriving on time?
    No, CNN.
    A thousand times NO.
    -------------–
    They're becoming more like Fox and TMZ day after day.
    ____________________________
    CNN has lost any credibility of being a real news outlet with the nonsense stories featured in this blog, while real stories go unmentioned. But, hey, that why there are so many other places to visit on the web!

    December 27, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Rudy NYC
    "They're becoming more like Fox and TMZ day after day."
    ----------
    I hate to say it. The fact that the article completely ignores the offensive remarks about blacks has not gone unnoticed. I do not understand how the author could omit, overlook, or otherwise ignore the racial remarks.
    -----------------------------------------
    Funny how those remarks get "overlooked" in the entire story.

    December 27, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. rs

    Dallas
    You've got to be kidding me! This can't be serious. Is this what the tea bag republicans have made the priorities for our country? Vote these useless politicians out as soon as humanly possible.
    ________________
    Precisely! That's why complex problems- like jobs, the economy or foreign affairs is just so alien to the GOP now- and they are completely unable to perform as leaders to do anything on these fronts. The GOP has reduced itself to be a party trying to create a controversy over cheap religion, a "war on Christmas", re-legislating the female reproductive system, re-creating indentured servitude with low wages, child labor and by abandoning their civil rights heritage, and pushing their favorite failure: cut taxes and spend voodoo economics. The GOP: No leadership, no substance.

    December 27, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. rs

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    Rudy NYC
    "They're becoming more like Fox and TMZ day after day."
    ----
    I hate to say it. The fact that the article completely ignores the offensive remarks about blacks has not gone unnoticed. I do not understand how the author could omit, overlook, or otherwise ignore the racial remarks.
    -------------–
    Funny how those remarks get "overlooked" in the entire story.
    ___________________
    Well, Mr. Robertson's notions that somehow Blacks in the south were happier when the KKK could kill and hang them at will while they lived as second or third-class citizens in the greatest nation in the world is what the Right actually believes (no doubt their part of "taking back our country")- hence their outrage that Mr. Robertson is being punished for making the statement.
    That CNN misses that point only shows their lack of depth in reporting, investigating or analyzing.

    December 27, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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