The I Stand With Phil petition started by Duck Dynasty fans in support of the embattled Phil Robertson is gaining steam, with even a Twitter blockade failing to slow it down.
Phil Robertson, the star of the reality show Duck Dynasty, was suspended from appearing in episodes by A&E after he made comments in an interview with GQ that were seen as insensitive and insulting to gays and blacks. In the interview Robertson said he believed homosexuality was a sin and that blacks in Jim Crow-era Louisiana were happier than those living today.
Despite his suspension, Robertson has refused to apologize for his remarks, reiterating in remarks at his church in West Monroe, Louisiana, that he believes homosexuality is a sin.
Fans have rallied by Phil’s side, sending out messages of support to the Duck Dynasty star and starting an I Stand With Phil petition calling on A&E to reinstate Robertson.
The site, created by the organization Faith Driven Consumer, states:
“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.”
The I Stand With Phil petition ran into a snag this week when people trying to post the site supporting Phil Robertson on Twitter found themselves blocked out. Twitter removed the block on December 23, with a spokesperson for the site explaining that the URL was mistakenly identified as spam.
“We have restored access and apologize for the error,” the spokesperson said.
The I Stand With Phil petition has hardly been slowed by the block, moving steadily toward its goal of 250,000 signatures (by late on Wednesday the site had reached 235,000).
And the I Stand With Phil petition isn’t the only support for Phil Robertson. Duck Dynasty sponsor Skyjacker, which builds truck suspensions, has come out to publicly support Robertson and call for his return to the show.