"19 Kids and Counting" stars the Duggars are holding fast to a Biblical view of marriage despite facing criticism for allegedly removing images of married same-sex couples from their Facebook photo challenge.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar first began the challenge after their daughter Jessa, 22, posted a photo kissing her husband, Ben Seewald. The Duggar parents copied the shot and shared it on social media, stating, "God designed marriage to be a loving, dynamic relationship between a husband and wife for a lifetime. We had fun trying to duplicate Ben and Jessa's happily married kissing picture. We challenge all married couples to take a happily married picture and post it here."
However, the Duggar's sweet challenge turned sour for some, as the media lit up with reports stating that gay rights spokesperson John Becker and LGBT rights activist Charles Chan Massey claim images of them kissing their husbands were deleted from the Duggar's Facebook page after they uploaded them.
"I added our photo because even though the Duggars included an introductory statement about their belief in marriage discrimination, they specifically invited 'all married couples; to respond to their 'happily married picture challenge," Becker told the AP.
"My post was soon deleted and I was banned from commenting, liking and posting any comments or photographs on their page," Massey added.
"We also knew about the Duggars' high-profile anti-LGBT activism, so we felt that our participation as a same-sex couple would highlight the dissonance between their professed support of love, intimacy, and marriage and the fact that they work so hard to obstruct the happiness and legal marriage rights of loving couples like us."
While the Duggars did not directly address the incident regarding the homosexual couples, they posted two poignant messages on their Facebook page the following evening:
Luke 6:27 "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." This is such a sweet scripture that we hold dear. We will always stand for truth and the values we hold dear without compromise but we will do so in love and kindness--treating others well even if we don't agree with them and we will do so without hateful words. This verse is a reminder of how we must always carry ourselves. Precious words from Jesus."
The Duggar family also quoted Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, stating,
"Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. Second is that to love someone means that you must agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate."
Currently, the Duggar's kissing challenge pic has more than 42,000 Facebook likes and more than 6,300 comments.
"Thank you for standing for truth regardless of the strong backlash you are receiving from the media," wrote one commenter named Ruth Billis.
"You are an inspiration to Christians all over the United States who hold to a Biblical view of marriage--we applaud you!"