Phil Robertson of 'Duck Dynasty' to Speak at Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans

Phil Robertson, star of the A&E reality show "Duck Dynasty," will speak at the upcoming Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday in New Orleans.

Robertson will begin his speech at 6 p.m. Thursday, the first day of the three-day political conference. Speaking after him on Thursday evening will be Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.

Other notable speakers at this week's conference include former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, real estate mogul Donald Trump and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In a recent Easter Sunday sermon at White's Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, Robertson addressed controversial comments he made regarding homosexuality in a December 2013 interview GQ Magazine that resulted in his temporary suspension from "Duck Dynasty." In the December interview, Robertson said he found homosexuality to be a sin, citing a verse from Corinthians that also lists other sins, including drunkenness and greed.

A recently-uploaded YouTube video shows Robertson's Easter Sunday sermon, during which the reality show star stands behind his previous statements to GQ Magazine. He argued that some were upset with his previous comments on homosexuality because they did not want to acknowledge their sins.

"You say, why'd they get mad at you?" Robertson asked. "'Cause instead of acknowledging their sin, like you had better do, they railed against me for giving them the truth about their sins. Don't deceive yourselves."

Robertson's comments recently caused three faculty members at Louisiana Tech University to walk out of the school's commencement ceremony because the alumni association was awarding Robertson with the Tower Medallion, an honor meant to recognize Robertson as a distinguished alumnus of the school.

The university later released a statement saying that the focus of Saturday's ceremony should remain of the 957 graduating students, despite the small faculty protest.

"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 and look forward to them representing us as Louisiana Tech alumni."

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