Professors Walk Out Of Graduation To Protest ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star’s Award

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Gay and lesbian groups say Phil Robertson's anti-gay remarks in a magazine interview should disqualify him from being honored. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images )

Gay and lesbian groups say Phil Robertson’s anti-gay remarks in a magazine interview should disqualify him from being honored. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images )

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RUSTON, La. (CBS Houston) – There was a little more circumstance and a little less pomp at the graduation ceremony for Louisiana Tech University students.

That’s because three professors walked out of Saturday’s commencement ceremony to protest the school’s honor for “Duck Dynasty’s” Phil Robertson, reports KNOE-TV.

The protest started when members of the campus’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization Prism found out Robertson would receive the university’s Tower Medallian, which is given to distinguished Louisiana Tech alumni.

Robertson was briefly suspended by A&E for his anti-gay comments in a GQ Magazine interview last December.

Students, faculty, and people across the state posted Facebook statuses and tweeted their feelings to Louisiana Tech using the hashtag #NoHonorInBigotry.

Hannah Ellsworth, president of Prism, told KNOE, “We wanted to make a statement displaying our disapproval of the honoring, and for several reasons, including the minimal time we were given to react, a social media campaign was the best way to do this. Faculty, staff, and students didn’t have any time to give input since no one new until the day before.”

Robertson did not attend the graduation event. His wife, Kay Robertson and son, Alan Robertson, received the award in his place.

Louisiana Tech released a statement saying the award was given to Robertson by the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association, not the university. 

“Despite the decision of the three faculty members who opted to protest the award recipient, the focus for Louisiana Tech remained on recognizing the 957 students who successfully completed their studies and honoring them for their achievements.

“We are extremely proud of what they have accomplished,” the statement went on to say, “and look forward to them representing us as Louisiana Tech alumni.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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