In remarks made available Monday, "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson spoke publicly for the first time about comments made in a magazine interview last week, in which he called homosexuality sinful and likened it to bestiality.
The British newspaper the Daily Mail -- granted access Sunday to Robertson's Bible study group at his White's Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, La. -- said the star of the A&E reality show defiantly told the congregation, "I will not give or back off from my path."
During his roughly 45-minute speech, in which he wore the camouflage clothing familiar from the series, Robertson, 67, stated: "Common sense says we are not going to procreate the human race unless we have a man and a woman. From the beginning Jesus said, 'It is a man and a woman.' Adam was made and Eve was made for this reason. They left their fathers and mothers and united to become one flesh; that's what marriage is all about." He did not address childless heterosexual couples.
Robertson conceded that, "Sexual sins are numerous and many; I have a few myself," and noted, "I have been immoral, drunk, high. I ran with the wicked people for 28 years and I have run with the Jesus people since and the contrast is astounding."
At a service following the study group, Robertson's eldest son, Alan, a pastor, quipped: "Well, we've had a quite a quiet week -- shot some ducks, done some shopping, ignited a national controversy."
A&E said it was suspending Robertson following his comments.