It’s no secret that “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson has become a divisive figure since his comments about homosexuality and sin went viral last December.
But perhaps nothing best illustrates the divide more than a decision by three Louisiana Tech University facility members to walk out in protest during Saturday’s commencement ceremony — just one day after the school announced that Robertson would be honored at the event.
It was the reality TV star’s comments about gays and lesbians — proclamations about sin and the Bible that he essentially reiterated and defended in an April sermon — that led to the professors’ controversial decision, the Christian Post reported.
The protest started when students in Louisiana Tech’s Prism club, a LGBT campus group, learned about Robertson’s award from faculty Friday afternoon.
They moved quickly to launch a social media campaign just hours before the “Duck Dynasty” star was honored with the Tower Medallion, an award given to distinguished alumni.
In addition to voicing frustration over Robertson’s honor, students and faculty complained that the school gave them virtually no notice about the award, leaving them shocked and scrambling to organize a response.
Angry students and supporters of the LBGT community took to Twitter using the hashtag #NoHonorInBigotry to voice their complaints. Then, on Saturday the aforementioned faculty members staged an accompanying walk-out in protest, KNOE-TV reported.
Here are just a few of the tweets:
Though Robertson wasn’t in attendance, his wife, Miss Kay, and his son Alan Robertson, accepted the award in his honor, according to the Post.
Louisiana Tech put out a release affirming the right of students and faculty to protest and clarifying the details surrounding the award.
“The right to express and debate differences in opinions, ideologies, and values is at the core of a university community, and Louisiana Tech certainly supports its faculty in this exercise of free expression,” the statement read.
It continued, “It’s important to note that the annual Tower Medallion recipient is selected by the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association and it’s member representatives, and not the university.”
According to the university’s website, the award goes to alumni who have “distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement, community service and humanitarian activities.” Recipients are considered to have brought honor to both themselves and the university.
Louisiana Tech’s statement went on to say that the focus should be on the 957 graduates who were recently honored at commencement and not on the controversy.
(H/T: Christian Post)