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The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation thanked A&E Network for suspending the 67-year-old, gray-bearded patriarch.

It’s “clear that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers and networks alike,” said GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz. Putting Mr. Robertson on hiatus “sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.”

In their letter to A&E President and CEO Nancy Dubuc, leaders of the Human Rights Campaign and NAACP asked her to denounce and repudiate Mr. Robertson’s “racist and homophobic remarks.”

“Americans won’t stand for Phil Robertson’s comments,” they said.

Gay-rights supporters took their outrage about Mr. Robertson’s “vile” remarks to social media. Many shared a 2010 “gay-bashing” video of Mr. Robertson, posted by TMZ, in which he lamented “women with women, men with men.”

But on Thursday, Robertson supporters were answering back in droves.

“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,” Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, wrote on his Facebook page.

The “mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree,” the senator said. “The reason that so many Americans love Duck Dynasty is because it represents the America usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites: a family that loves and cares for each other, believes in God, and speaks openly about their faith.”

Mr. Jindal, who praised Mr. Robertson and his family as “great citizens of the State of Louisiana,” noted that “the politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.”

He noted the cultural double standards surrounding public misbehavior, saying “it is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

Mrs. Palin also weighed in on her Facebook page: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

Even GLAAD’s Facebook page was filled with comments supporting Phil Robertson. “I have never said a negative word about your community, but, that changes today!” wrote one man. “GLAAD I thought you guys stood against Bullying. Wow talk about practice what your preach,” wrote a woman.

As of Thursday night, some 311,000 people had signed a National Organization for Marriage petition asking A&E to reinstate Mr. Robertson and “right this wrong.”

“Duck Dynasty” is set to begin its fifth season Jan. 15. Mr. Robertson is expected to appear in a few episodes that were taped before his suspension, according to media reports.

Other prominent figures also have been publicly chastised for their views about homosexuality.

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