Toronto protesters tell Chick-fil-A to cluck off over anti-LGBT donations
The opening of a Chick-fil-A store in Toronto, Canada was derailed by protesters, raising objections to the chain’s links to anti-LGBT causes.
The grand opening of the Toronto Chick-fil-A store got off to a rocky start on Friday (September 6), with protesters carrying signs signs that read “Cluck off” and “Chick-fil-A is full-a homophobia”.
LGBT+ activists called on Canadians to reject the presence of the US-based chain, which is reviled for its financial support for evangelical anti-LGBT groups.
Protesters to Chick-fil-A: Cluck off
Protester Tommy King told CBC: “They’ve fought against equal rights in the states, and if they’re here, they’re probably going to do the same.”
Another protester, Justin Khan, added: “We won’t allow hateful rhetoric to be here… the fact that Chick-fil-A is opening on the streets of Toronto is something that is quite alarming.”
However, the Toronto branch has insisted that everyone is welcome.
Franchise owner Wilson Yang said: “We respect people’s right to share their opinions and want all Torontonians to know they are welcome at Chick-fil-A Yonge & Bloor.
“Our focus is on offering a welcoming and respectful environment for our guests and team members, and we encourage people to give us a try.”
Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT history
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Chick-fil-A has donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, including the Family Research Council, ‘gay cure’ group Exodus International and Focus on the Family.
CEO Dan Cathy confirmed in 2012 the company was opposed to marriage equality and “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.”
Cathy told Baptist Press at the time: “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
The company later claimed it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena,” however its donations to some anti-LGBT causes have persisted.
LGBT+ activists have sustained a years-long boycott of the company, which has faced opposition from anti-LGBT Republicans.
In May, the Trump administration ordered a federal probe into decisions to bar Chick-fil-A from opening at two airports, in an apparent concession to the evangelical lobby.
In July, the Governor of Texas signed a law to outlaw “discrimination” against Chick-fil-A and similar companies, even though it remains legal in the state to discriminate against gay people.