by Rebecca Macatee | Thu., Dec. 26, 2013 9:47 AM
As of Dec. 26, the #IStandWithPhil online petition is just a few thousand signatures short of its 250,000 goal. Per its website, the petition is "demanding the immediate reinstatement" of Robertson, citing what they believe to be the "network's intolerant, discriminatory and punitive treatment" of the Duck Dynasty patriarch.
The #IStandWithPhil petition, which was slightly impeded when Twitter mistakenly marked their hashtag as spam, alleges that "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."
The letter acknowledges "Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view," but states, "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."
Supporters of the #IStandWithPhil petition are asking that A&E "formally apologize to [Robertson], his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview." (The network stated that Robertson's "personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.")
When A&E suspended Robertson, they also noted that his beliefs expressed in the GQ interview "are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty." So on Wednesday, Dec. 25, the network rang in Christmas with a Duck Dynasty marathon, airing 25 consecutive episodes of their popular show.