LGBT Community Takes Issue With Chick-fil-A’s CEO’s ’Equality Award’
The Urban League of Atlanta raised hackles when they awarded anti-gay Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathay with an equality award at the group’s annual gala celebrating Equal Opportunity Day, themed "Celebrating Champions of Justice and Equality."
As Gay Star News reports, the group said they honored Cathay for his charitable work around inner city issues and disadvantaged youth. Cathay made headlines last year for his anti-gay statements around marriage equality, which resulted in a boycott of his restaurant chain.
"Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies," Cathay tweeted, and later deleted, according to a June 27 report in CBS Atlanta.
The Urban League of Greater Atlanta tried to explain their decision to include Cathay along with esteemed honoree Congressman John Lewis.
"The Community Empowerment Award is presented to an organization that has made significant contributions to advance community empowerment," said the group in a statement. "The Urban League of Greater Atlanta is awarding the Chick-fil-A Foundation and Cathay for the Foundation’s significant financial contributions that support programs that empower communities -- including the funding for a signature program that teaches inner city youth financial literacy and a local community food bank."
But LGBT activists were critical of the League’s decision. In a recent Fenuxe article, writers Mikkel Hyldebrandt and D. David Kinney observed that "his position on gay marriage remains the same. And the corporation is seemingly still donating large sums to organizations like the Marriage & Family Foundation and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which both promote marriage in the ’biblical sense’ and are strongly and openly opposed to same-sex marriage."
They lambasted the League for letting Chick-fil-A use the award to make their company look better and improve business, while making no real changes in their anti-gay stance.
"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," wrote the league in their statement. "This includes the recent Employment Non-Discrimination Act that was passed out of the U.S. Senate this week."