LGBTQ protesters are enraged over Chick-fil-A’s announcement that it will be expanding its franchise into Canada, with some declaring a boycott via Twitter of the Christian-owned fast food giant’s future Canadian chain locations.
Despite the charges and outrage, Chick-fil-A is pleased and grateful to serve the community in Toronto.
Waltzing or tiptoeing into Toronto?
Chick-fil-A’s first opening north of the border is slated for the province of Ontario’s largest city, Toronto, where many in the LGBTQ community are opposed to the pro-family corporation’s support of Christian values and organizations that take a stand for them in controversial issues, such as same-sex “marriage.”
”Some LGBTQ supporters … are furious with the news, declaring that Chick-fil-A’s historically antigay policies will clash with the culture of the Ontario city, which has previously been named the third-most LGBT-friendly city in the world,” Fox News reported.
Under Canadian President Justin Trudeau’s ultra-left leadership, Canada has become a major proponent of so-called “LGBT rights,” spurring many activists there to push a movement to force all citizens to approve and affirm alternative lifestyles in the name of “civil rights” and “equality.”
“Just a friendly Canadian reminder that we are a progressive country and have morals and fight for equal rights for all,” LGBTQ advocate Chris Lotts tweeted Thursday after Chick-fil-A’s announcement. “We don't want your bigoted and discriminatory business opening anywhere north of the border.”
But when announcing the 2019 opening of the chain’s very first international location – with 15 more restaurants slated to open in the greater Toronto area over the next five years – Chick-fil-A President and COO Tim Tassopoulos stressed the Atlanta, Georgia-based franchise’s passion to serve the entire community.
“[Chick-fil-A has] wanted to come to Toronto for a very long time because we believe Toronto is one of the best and most vibrant cities in North America,” Tassopoulos announced Wednesday in an open letter published by Chick-fil-A. “We are looking forward to putting down real roots and becoming a part of this dynamic and diverse city.”
He said it was no mistake that Chick-fil-A chose Toronto as its first location outside the borders of the United States.
“The decision to invest in Toronto as our first international Chick-fil-A market isn’t one we take lightly,” Tassopoulos continued. “We’ve spent years researching cities across the world, and the more time we spent here, the more we knew Toronto was the perfect place to roost. It will be our pleasure to serve you in 2019 and the years to come.”
Flying in the face of LGBT activists’ claims – accusing the chain’s leadership of rejecting the LGBT community – Tassopoulos stressed that his corporation embraces and respects all community members with open arms of hospitality.
“Toronto is a great city – with diverse and caring people, a vibrant restaurant culture and a deep talent pool,” Tassopoulos expressed, according to Fox News. “These characteristics align perfectly with Chick-fil-A’s focus on community giving, delivering a premium restaurant experience and working with passionate people who can grow with our company.”
Who’s not accepting now?
After the backlash to the Christian fast food chain’s announcement to open its doors in Toronto, it appears that the LGBT community – not Chick-fil-A – is the one that is intolerant and not accepting.
“Please, leave your corporate homophobic beliefs at the border,” Canadian LGBTQ supporter Marilyn Z tweeted Friday. “Not welcome here!”
This sentiment was echoed by another pro-LGBTQ Canadian.
“There are many local, Canadian-owned restaurants that make better chicken – and without the homophobia, bigotry and hatred that Chick-fil-A promotes,” Christopher posted on Twitter Thursday. “Buy Canadian, support Canadian businesses, uphold Canadian rights, freedoms & tolerance!”
Others, however welcomed Chick-fil-A’s move beyond U.S. borders with open arms.
“What a magical day … woke up to find out Chick-fil-A is opening stores in Canada,” Amy tweeted the day of Chick-fil-A’s announcement. “Is this the beginning of world peace?? Can Chick-fil-A solve our international diplomacy issues???”
Beginning of a controversy
Chick-fil-A – which was recently awarded the title as America’s favorite fast food chain – was founded more than half a century ago in 1967 on its successful management strategy based in biblical values, but controversy erupted in 2012 when Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
"We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy told the Baptist Press six years ago in an interview. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that."
But Chick-fil-A’s support of biblical values predated the interview – a fact upon which the mainstream media focused to fan the flames of the Cathy’s “controversial” support of Christian family values.
“In 2010, The Huffington Post reported that Chick-fil-A – through its WinShape Foundation – donated $2 million to groups that oppose same-sex marriage, most notably the Marriage & Family Foundation,” the Business Insider recounted. “Until 2012, the company reportedly donated at least $2 million more to such groups.”
Since the political firestorm sparked in 2012, Chick-fil-A has experienced numerous protests in the U.S. over its restaurants, with students on some university campuses claiming that the mere sight of students carrying Chick-fil-A bags across campus from an on-location site made them feel uneasy – with one student describing having an induced episode of hyperventilation after seeing a red-and-white sack containing America’s favorite chicken sandwich.
But over the past several years, Chick-fil-A – which reported a 2017 revenue of $9 billion – has avoided and sought to steer clear of entering into a battle over its biblical values.
“In 2017, the chain asked its franchisees to not make public statements on political issues,” Fox News’ Janine Puhak noted.