While a recent poll showed most Americans believe that Kim Davis should be required by law to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, one pastor has compared the controversial Kentucky clerk to Rosa Parks and called her a "modern day hero."
"Rosa Parks was a hero to me and Kim Davis is a modern day hero in that they both stood against evil and stood up for good," the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson said Tuesday to Amy Holmes, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Kim Davis is standing up because homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle and it goes against the principles of God. So like Rosa Parks, she's standing on values, what is right, and I really admire her for that as I admire Rosa Parks," said Peterson, who is the president of Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND).
"I'm also insulted when I hear anyone comparing homosexuality or abnormal sex to black Americans. As I said, we were discriminated against because of our color. They never asked us who we were having sex with," he added.
Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for not yielding her bus seat to a white passenger, while Davis was jailed for six days for being in contempt of federal court after refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Davis has explained that her biblical beliefs prevent her from doing so, and added that she cannot violate her conscience.
"God's moral law conflicts with my job duties," Davis said before her arrest. "You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and your soul."
While Davis has received the support of many Christian leaders, including Rev. Franklin Graham and Sen. Ted Cruz, ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Tuesday found that 74 percent of respondents believe that equality under the law is most important, while only 19 percent said that religious beliefs should come first. Furthermore, 63 percent of those surveyed said that Davis should be required to issue marriage licenses, compared to 33 percent who disagreed.
As many as 72 percent of respondents also backed the decision to send Davis temporarily to jail for failing to comply with the order on marriage licenses, while 25 percent opposed it.
The poll, which has a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, noted that the partisan divisions of the people surveyed is 33 percent Democrats, 22 percent Republicans, and 35 percent Independents.
Continuing his comments to Newsmax, Peterson charged that nobody should be discriminated against based on color, but emphasized that Christians have a "responsibility to reject wrongdoing."
"Homosexuality is based on sex. Homosexuality is not about values, it's not about civil rights, it's not about love," he said. "A marriage is between a man and a woman, not between two men or two women. That has been the rule forever, ever since mankind has been on Earth.
He continued, "So what homosexuals are trying to do is to get you to change the rules based on sex ... I'm totally against so-called same-sex marriage. It will destroy society if we should allow that to happen ... I like the step that Kim is taking."
Last week, Davis returned to work, and said that while she will not sign her name on marriage licenses for gay couples, she will not interfere with the efforts of deputy clerks to issue such licenses.
Meanwhile, social conservative activist group The Family Research Council has announced it will honor Davis with this year's "Cost of Discipleship Award" at the organization's 10th annual Values Voter Summit on Sept. 25 in Washington, D.C.
"While the court redefined marriage, it did not redefine the First Amendment," FRC Tony Perkins told the Christian Post on Tuesday. "Thank goodness for people of courage like Kim Davis, who refuse to let religious liberty be trampled by legal tyranny. We applaud her. In the face of intense pressure, she's shown more courage than 99 percent of the elected officials in Kentucky."