'19 Kids And Counting' Star Josh Duggar Has Some Awful Thoughts About Marriage

04/29/2015 11:50 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Josh Duggar thinks everyone deserves equal treatment under the law -- but that marriage should still be defined between one man and one woman.

"Natural marriage is something that has been clearly defined over the years," he said at a National Organization for Marriage event on Sunday. "What's really at stake here is the American family. Marriage is essential to the American family and every single child deserves a mother and a father."

Duggar was in Washington for NOM's "March for Marriage," which took place just days before the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case expected to determine whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

The eldest child from the reality show "19 Kids and Counting" is now the executive director of Tony Perkins' political group, Family Research Council Action.

During his speech, Duggar went on to tell right-wing CNS News that Christians have been persecuted for their faith during the gay marriage debate, and everyone deserves to be treated fairly.

"I believe everyone deserves equal treatment under the law and that's what we're here standing for," he said. "Right now in America there is an agenda to silence people of faith, those who hold a dissenting opinion. That's not what America was founded on. America was founded on respect, tolerance, and really not discriminating against people based on their religious convictions."

The Duggar family has found themselves in the midst of several controversies surrounding LGBT issues. In August, Michelle Duggar narrated a robocall asking voters to oppose a bill aimed at strengthening protections for transgender residents of Fayetteville, Arkansas. And in November, the family allegedly removed photos of a same-sex couple kissing from their Facebook page.

During the CNS News interview, Duggar said although people may have differing opinions, the issue needs to be broached with "civility" to "honor what the people have spoken."

"What we have to do is we have to come to this, and we have to talk with civility," he said. "We have to go out there and be clear in what we believe and be firm."

Same-sex couples are legally able to marry in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

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