LGBT people who identify as conservative and are finding themselves divided over the flap surrounding "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson's controversial remarks about same sex attraction and African-American civil rights. According to USA Today, prominent gay conservatives have very different takes on the issue.
Robertson set off a firestorm of controversy when he opined to GQ magazine reporter Drew Magary that same sex attractions are a "sin" and that's "not logical, my man."
"It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man's anus," he said. ""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?"
Robertson was very briefly suspended by A&E, the network that carries "Duck Dynasty," but on Friday, the network announced that season 5 of the program will go forward as planned with Robertson's participation.
"The knee jerk reaction of some on the right to actually defend this kind of ugliness is yet another reminder of just how out of touch these folks are with where America is and where America is going," said Chris Barron of GOProud to USA Today.
"Robertson wasn't quoting from the Bible," Barron continued, "he went on a vulgar and bigoted anti-gay rant."
Richard Grenell, who briefly worked for the campaign to elect former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) to the presidency in 2012 before anti-LGBT activists had him drummed out, told the paper, "The self-appointed gay leadership's reaction to a reality show star's personal religious views was troubling."
"Gay Americans value free speech," he said, "don't demand that everyone think like they do and aren't nearly as thin-skinned as the so-called gay leadership. Tolerance means you are OK with people thinking differently than you do. Sadly, liberal intolerance is on the rise."
Michael Lucas, the conservative owner of gay adult entertainment company Lucas Entertainment, said that Robertson deserved the backlash.
"He is a religious-fundamentalist bigot, and the world is losing patience with that," Lucas said to USA Today's Steven Nelson. "In Afghanistan he would be fighting for the Taliban. In Russia he would be pulling the roof off gay clubs. We should not feel obliged to make room for this person in American popular culture."
Lucas grew up in the Soviet Union and has a very different perspective on the limits of free speech than many Americans.
"Phil Robertson is not being put in jail; he is just being taken off a TV show for a while," Lucas says. "This is not a government action, so the First Amendment is not in play."