The award, presented Saturday at its Equality Opportunity Day Dinner, honors Cathy and the Chick-fil-A Foundation for their “significant financial contributions that support programs that empower communities,” despite the foundation’s long history of donating millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations.
This year’s theme was “Celebrating Champions of Justice and Equality.”
Cathy made national headlines last year when, in an interview with the Baptist Press, said his company backed “the biblical definition of a family,” and in a follow-up statement said that same-sex marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”
And earlier this year, following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Cathy tweeted (and quickly deleted) the comment, “Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our generation to abandon wisdom of the ages.”
The Urban League issued a statement last week defending Cathy’s award, closing with: “Please be assured that the Urban League of Greater Atlanta supports and works for equal rights for all people, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or physical ability. This includes the recent Employment Non-Discrimination Act that was passed out of the U.S. Senate this week.”
The League says its focus is to empower people to “achieve their highest human potential and civil rights.”