"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson will receive the Citizens United “Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award” at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, the organization announced.
In late 2013, Robertson was briefly suspended from the hit A&E show "Duck Dynasty" after comments he made to GQ magazine:
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he said in the article. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
The remarks he made next have drawn the ire of various advocacy groups:
"Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Afterward a GLAAD spokesman said, "Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans - who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples."
Robertson's suspension didn't last long. Neither did a ban on "Duck Dynasty" merchandise at Cracker Barrel stores.
Shortly after the brief dustup, Willie Robertson, head of the company featured on "Duck Dynasty," and his wife Korie, were featured during Fox News' coverage of New Year's Eve festivities.
"We've got a new season coming up in a couple of weeks," Willie said just before 2014 got going. "We're ready to move on. I think we all learned a lot and we're just ready to move on. The family's happy. We're ready to go!"
Phil Roberston will be honored Feb. 27.
“I want to thank Citizens United and Breitbart for this award," he said in a statement. "When one does not have the freedom to speak out loud and anywhere what one believes, freedom is dead.”