AURORA, Ill., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A Republican candidate for Congress in Illinois compared "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson to civil rights leader Rosa Parks in a posting on his website.
Ian Bayne, one of four Republicans seeking the nomination to run against Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., said Robertson is standing up for the rights of Christians. The A&E network suspended Robertson from the reality TV show after he made controversial remarks about homosexuals in an interview with GQ magazine.
"In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians," Bayne said.
Bayne said Robertson made his statements knowing they would get him into trouble. The candidate also suggested the media now regard the Bible as "hate speech."
Bayne did not mention Robertson's suggestion in the same interview that blacks in the segregated Louisiana of his youth were content: "They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
In his biography on the website, Bayne describes himself as a small businessman active in a number of areas. His previous political experience included working on Mitt Romney's campaign for Massachusetts governor.